Seeking a bigger piece of the MC&IT pie

Travel Manitoba is joining forces with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) to help Manitoba’s tourism industry capture more of the growing market for meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT).

In 2014 we’re partnering with the CTC at these major events:

  • Showcase Canada in San Francisco (January 9) and Dallas/Fort Worth (March 27)
  • Incentive Canada in Saint John, Newfoundland, in partnership with Tourism Winnipeg (July 18-21)
  • IMEX America in Las Vegas, October 14-16.

Travel Manitoba has seen clear benefits from participation in earlier CTC events – including the first Incentive Canada event, held in Vernon last August, and the IMEX event in Las Vegas last October.

“Manitoba’s unique experiences were of interest to the hosted buyers,” said Lilian Tankard, Senior Manager of Partnership Programs for Travel Manitoba. “We had 26 meetings with buyers in Vernon, and since then we’ve had three requests for proposals to pursue.”

“All I can say is OUTSTANDING,” said Mike Nesbihal, one of the buyers in attendance.

“Canada has been on my radar, and now with all the great suppliers I have met, I am confident we will be bringing new business to them,” said Mike, who is Executive Vice President of the Incentive, Rewards, Meetings and Events Division of Great Escapes Travel in New Jersey.

Lilian said conventions, meetings and incentive travel are a thriving segment of the market, and one that Manitoba is well-positioned to serve – but only if we can make those business-to-business connections.

“We need to reach not only the associations but also the corporate and incentive segments. The CTC’s hosted-buyer events are one of the best ways to tap in.” While Winnipeg is likely to remain Manitoba’s dominant player in the convention market, Lilian said there are also many prospects for lodges, resorts and adventure experiences.

“We see opportunities for them to host smaller-scale meetings and incentive trips. In MC&IT, as in other market segments, there is always an appetite for something unique and different.”

The 2014 Showcase Canada events will be ideal opportunities to highlight two of Manitoba’s strongest “boulder” products. Fishing will be featured at the Dallas/Fort Worth event, and Churchill products will be highlighted in San Francisco.