Over the course of the last year we made important progress towards building tourism in Manitoba. Part of that building process was reinforcing our relationships with important stakeholders. This included working closely with the Tourism Secretariat to clearly define roles and collaborate on the delivery of a provincial tourism strategy. We also reinforced our working relationships with the Regional Tourism Associations and Destination Marketing Organizations - ensuring a strong understanding of purpose and duties to better support our tourism industry.
At the heart of tourism in Manitoba are the industry members whose products, services and experiences welcome almost 11 million visitors to the province who spend nearly $1.45 billion. In 2012/13, Travel Manitoba zeroed in on our relations with industry, hosting sector-specific summits as a way to gather real-time feedback from operators to help shape our future strategies. Opening a two-way channel for ongoing discussions will better equip Travel Manitoba and our industry members to meet challenges head-on and take advantage of opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
As we laid the foundation for a new brand this year, based on the sound research behind the Explorer QuotientTM, industry participation in the formation of our new brand was crucial. And just as crucial will be the industry's willingness to support this new brand and the Explorer QuotientTM as a way for Manitoba to establish a competitive edge in the worldwide tourism marketplace. With the launch of the new brand in 2014, we will ensure industry members have the tools they need to help us establish one vision, one strategy and one brand to continue to build tourism in Manitoba.
There are exciting things on the horizon for Manitoba: among them, the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the expansion of the Winnipeg Convention Centre, the Journey to Churchill exhibit in Assiniboine Park and the redevelopment of West Hawk town site and other improvements in Whiteshell Provincial Park. We will continue to partner with cities to acquire major events aimed at promoting Manitoba's culinary, music and festival attractions. Events on the horizon include the JUNO Awards in 2014 and the Canada Games in 2017. We will continue to welcome the world to experience our unique blend of wilderness and culture, and a healthy, vibrant tourism sector will exceed their expectations.