(A complete article published originally in the WFP, October ‘69)
Only the automobile industry ranked higher than tourism as an earner of foreign currency in Canada, delegates to the 42nd annual Manitoba Hotel Association convention were told here Monday. The association is holding a three-day convention at the Marlborough hotel. The speaker was Dalton Waller, president of the Canadian Tourist Association, who addressed the delegates at a Manitoba department of tourism and recreation luncheon and seminar — a warmup for the convention delegates. Describing tourism as an "invisible export," Mr. Waller said, "Canada's exports of automobiles and chassis totaled $1,357,000,000. That was our No. 1 export. No. 2 in export commodities was newsprint at $990 million. But we’re a little more than that. Tourist income in foreign currency was $992 million." Then, to stress the value of tourism in regards to the country's economy, Mr. Waller pointed to an additional $2 billion spent by Canadians travelling within Canada. Looking to the future, Mr. Waller referred to a recent research study conducted by the CTA, which revealed that nearly 20 per cent of the out-of-pocket expenditures of travellers was spent on lodging. "The demand for travel and recreation facilities will increase because of shorter work weeks, longer paid holidays, more disposable income, earlier retirement, and longer life expectancy," he predicted. Mr. Waller termed "total destination" as the key to future success. "That is," he said, "a package including transportation, accommodation, recreation and services." Facilities of the future must be flexible in layout, oriented to self-service, provide ample guest activity or relaxation and offer the "human touch", he warned the delegates. Following Mr. Waller's address, Ed Bryant, director of the Alberta government travel bureau, told delegates cooperation between the hotel association, the tourist association and the convention bureau as well as the need to be able to change were necessary to meet' the challenge of the 70s as outlined in the targets for economic development report. Miss Gwen Leslie, representing the department of fisheries, told delegates it is time to capitalize on local products namely fresh-water delicacies such a whitefish, northern pike, pickerel, goldeye, bass, bullhead, catfish, tullibee lake trout and burbot. She added 1970, Manitoba's centennial year is "a magnificent opportunity to boost our own product." She advised delegates freshwater delicacies are "the key to a distinctive Manitoba menu."