President’s Message for 2024

Posted January 04, 2024

HeHo! The New Year is here, bringing with it a sense of excitement and anticipation for Manitoba’s tourism industry.

Beyond the winter festivals we’re known for like Festival du Voyageur and the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, there are some major events happening in early 2024 that will shape the year to come and build on the successes of 2023.

We look forward to welcoming sport tourism guests from across the country for the Sport Events Congress (SEC) from March 13 to 15 in Winnipeg. The three-day event is the largest annual gathering of those connected to the $7.4 billion sport tourism industry in Canada. Alongside Tourism Winnipeg and Brandon First, we have several familiarization (FAM) tours planned and two special after-hours events for conference attendees to experience some of the best that Manitoba has to offer.

In April, the Tourism Awards Winnipeg | Manitoba will once again celebrate the best of the industry, co-hosted by Travel Manitoba and Tourism Winnipeg. The awards event will be held in conjunction with the Tourism Industry Association of Manitoba’s (TIAM) first tourism industry conference and annual general meeting.

We’ll be back at Rendez-vous Canada (RVC) this May to promote Manitoba to the world. Each year, we sponsor a luncheon for the opportunity to wow the audience with a jaw-dropping video. This year, we’re working closely with Tourism Winnipeg to build excitement for when Winnipeg will host RVC in 2025.

As we look at the state of the sector, the skies continue to clear with another non-stop daily flight from Porter Airlines connecting Ottawa and Winnipeg starting this May. The route adds to the latest non-stop service to Atlanta offered by WestJet and to Toronto from Porter Airlines. On the horizon, we hope to see the return of direct flights to and from Chicago and Denver in the near future.

Maddy Reico

The good news continues for the hotel and accommodation sector in Manitoba, with occupancy rates continuing to surpass the national average. We look forward to seeing further growth thanks to announcements made last year for new accommodations, including a new 140-room Hyatt-Centric hotel in downtown Winnipeg and a new Ramada by Wyndham Hotel and Conference Centre in Flin Flon. These hotels will join exciting new experiences like Klar So, the nordic spa at Elkhorn Resort Spa and Conference Centre, which opened in December and Turtle Village, an Indigenous-owned and operated glamping experience in Riding Mountain National Park, which opened in August.

From hosting and attending major tourism sector events to spurring economic development and growth, there are many exciting opportunities ahead for Manitoba’s tourism industry. As we look forward to what 2024 will bring, we remain dedicated to supporting the tourism industry to drive growth, provide job opportunities, and bolster our communities.

Cheers to the New Year!

Colin Ferguson

President and CEO,
Travel Manitoba