2015 Partnership SummitManitoba's tourism industry came together during Tourism Week to bring their marketing ideas to the table at the first ever Partnership Summit held at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg on June 3. More than 150 members of the industry heard about the new partnership opportunities for 2015/2016, which include the opportunities at the new Visitor Information Centre at The Forks, and also offered feedback on elements of our marketing plan. The day concluded with a Town Hall presentation from Canada's national tourism agencies. 

The summit provided Travel Manitoba with useful feedback on what is - and isn't - working in the eyes of our partners: 

"The breakdown of explorer types helped us to break down who our audience is and the types of experiences we would offer them. It helped us to connect with other organizations targeting the same kinds of travellers." Christine Chilton, Nature Conservancy of Canada 

"Facebook enables us to target a specific demographic. With print media, you have to buy it to read it." Peter Lefort, Transcona Golf Course

"The hashtag #exploremb is super interesting and highly used. It was a really excellent campaign by Travel Manitoba to get great exposure in untapped markets." Constance Menzies, Chocolatier Constance Popp 

"Partnerships with airline publications - that is something that has really increased our profile." Katherine Kosowan, Canadian Museum for Human Rights. 

Social media was a big focus, and rightly so as we relayed to those in attendance how our engagement on Facebook alone increased by 358% last year, and how our total engagement - the number of times a person interacted with a post - across all channels reached over 401,000. We plan to expand on this with more programs that focus on content marketing, using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our manitobahot.com blog, which has seen pageviews increase by 311% since relaunching in January. 

Brainstorming around marketing innovations brought forward some diverse ideas, including a Four Square-like app, geofencing mobile offers, and using 3D virtual reality. A webinar in the fall will provide industry with more details on the partnership opportunities for 2016. Details will be announced later this summer. 

The Partnership Summit concluded with a message from Ron Lemieux, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection.

"All the great ideas you have, please share them. And please keep working together in tourism - it will be a better product in the end. I thank each and every one of you - we have such great momentum in our province and Manitoba has so much to offer."

See Travel Manitoba's presentation from the Summit here. If you have ideas to share or would like more information on the 2015/2016 partnership opportunities, please contact our Partnership Team:

Lilian Tankard, Senior Manager, Partnership Programs at ltankard@travelmanitoba.com
Michel LaRiviere, Partnership Programs Coordinator at mlariviere@travelmanitoba.com
Tricia Woikin, Partnership Specialist at twoikin@travelmanitoba.com