With impacts of COVID-19 being felt around the world, travel has never looked more different. Instead of booking a plane ticket to a far-flung locale, more and more residents are learning what it means to explore home. With this province's abundance of natural wonders, wide open outdoor spaces and myriad of trails, lakes and campsites, Manitobans are discovering their homes like never before. Of course, with that interest in local travel comes increased traffic at many of Manitoba's favourite spots.
It's up to every one of us to minimize our impact, while respecting the environment and people around us. With that in mind, we'd like to remind you of a few ways you can continue to be a responsible tourist in Manitoba to keep the province safe, healthy and well-cared for so we can enjoy it now and in the future.
1. Be COVID safe
It's up to everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
• Follow all public health advice outlined by the Government of Manitoba.
• Practise good hygiene--hand washing, avoid touching your face, cough into your sleeve
• Maintain physical distance wherever possible
• Avoid others for 14 days and follow self quarantine guidelines if entering from another province
• Wear a mask, particularly when visiting indoor spaces
2. Leave No Trace
Protect our natural spaces by minimizing your impact on them.
• Keep to marked paths--avoid damage to plant and wildlife by sticking to established routes
• Carry in and carry out--do not leave any waste behind, this includes toilet paper
• Leave it alone--don't pick flowers, pocket rocks or remove anything from the natural environment
• Respect wildlife--keep your distance and don't feed animals
• Don't leave your mark--do not deface or write on rocks, signs, trees or anything else you may come across
3. Be a Considerate Camper
Have a campsite booked? Be a good neighbour by following these guidelines.
• Keep campfires contained--use only designated firepits
• Respect quiet times--designated quiet time is between 11 p.m.-9 a.m. in all provincial campgrounds, generator use is not permitted during quiet time
• Keep the noise level down--do not interfere with the enjoyment of others, this includes playing loud music
• Know the alcohol and cannabis regulations--alcohol can be consumed on permitted sites, cannabis use is prohibited inside provincial campgrounds and parks, cannabis use is permitted in campgrounds inside Riding Mountain National Park
• Leash your pet--pets must be kept leashed at all times, clean up after your pet
• Be bear safe--keep food out of your tent and in your car overnight, dispose of garbage in designated places
4. Embrace Local Culture
• Learn about treaty land rights and the traditional territories of the province's Indigenous people--before you embark on your adventure, take the time to learn who the land belonged to and educate yourself about their history
• Respect sacred spaces--Manitoba is rich with Indigenous history, do your homework and ensure you are following protocols and honouring traditions and customs
• Ask to take photos--don't take pictures of people without their permission
• Give everyone space--enjoying an amazing view? Be sure to give everyone the chance to see it too by moving aside once you've snapped your selfie
• Support local--wherever possible, support locally-owned hotels, tour operators, shops and restaurants
• Give back--look for community activities you can support
• Respect private property--do not go onto private property and respect all signage
• Get off the beaten path--Manitoba is home to plenty of hotspots but there are so many things to see and discover. Minimize impact on the most visited spaces (Hint: sign up for Travel Manitoba's e-newsletter to receive new ideas for exploration delivered to your inbox every week)