Travel Manitoba, Tourism Winnipeg and six partners participated in a successful sales mission to Canada's biggest city September 30 to October 2. In addition to the ten appointments with travel companies located in Toronto, the Team Manitoba delegation also provided training to Jonview staff. This was the first time Manitoba had the opportunity to present to the entire team of one of Canada's largest receptive operators. The mission also included a media event, which provided partners another opportunity to talk about their Manitoba experiences.
"Since it was my first time being involved in this type of sales venture, I found all of the experiences worthwhile and informative," said Susan Wallis, Group Sales Manager for Lakeview Hospitality. "I also enjoyed the variety of experiences - individual sales calls, media exposure and the wholesale presentation with Jonview. It will be interesting to see what component reaps the most benefit for us."
Along with Susan from Lakeview, the other partners were Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Lazy Bear Lodge, Holiday Inn Winnipeg South, Royal Canadian Mint and Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
"I enjoyed meeting other partners working in the tourism industry for future networking and education of their contributions and< involvement in promoting tourism in Manitoba," said Susan.
Elise Wood, Supervisor of Tour Operations from the Royal Canadian Mint, said the sales mission format is an effective way to conduct business with the travel trade.
"I felt the main benefit is that I had the opportunity to visit them on the own turf. I felt like their feedback was more honest, since we didn't meet at one of our venues, and I appreciated that."
The appointments also enabled the Manitoba operators to get updates on their current market and what buyers are looking for.
"They are looking for unique and exclusive experiences - something they can't get anywhere else but to visit Winnipeg," added Elise.
The media event drew over 50 Toronto media and online influencers, with two travel industry outlets publishing articles on the event. The piece in Travel
Industry Today suggested, "Next time clients mention they're interested in experiencing one-of-a-kind moments and seeing some distinct culture consider some things happening next door in Manitoba." Other media coverage is likely to emerge as some of the media there will attend Winnipeg winter media trip this February, while others will visit in the summer or fall of 2015.