Posted May 11

Tourism a $1.5-billion Industry in Manitoba

Two people kayaking with a pod of beluga whales near Churchill, Manitoba.

Manitoba’s award-winning tourism brand will be showcased to the world with the launch of three new television commercials, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced today at Travel Manitoba’s Visitor Information Centre at The Forks along with Colin Ferguson, president and CEO of Travel Manitoba.

“Investing in tourism is a part of our government’s vision for growth and innovation in Manitoba’s economy and we are pleased to help promote the great destinations that our communities and local businesses have to offer,” said Cullen. “This is the second year in a row that we have increased funding for Travel Manitoba. Manitoba’s tourism industry offers a variety of unique experiences and attractions contributing $1.5 billion to our province’s economy each year.”

The minister noted the 2017 provincial budget provides over $12 million to Travel Manitoba to further enhance the province’s visitor economy. Funding for tourism increased by $3.4 million last year as the province adopted the Plan 96/4 funding model to assist the sector in driving economic growth. A further $452,000 has been invested this year under the Plan 96/4 model for tourism marketing and development, Cullen noted.

To help encourage more visitors to Manitoba, three new television commercials have been produced by local advertising agency McKim Communications Group, highlighting the summer polar bear viewing experience in Churchill, Winnipeg as a winter city and northern lights viewing in Churchill.

Summer polar bear viewing and the northern lights are growing tourism attractions and new to the range of products marketed by Travel Manitoba. Like Manitoba’s other unique and world-class Arctic Safari Adventure products, including polar bear viewing in the fall and beluga whale watching in the summer, the goal in marketing these new product introductions is to extend the Northern tourism season in Churchill and surrounding areas, the minister said.

“Developed after extensive research and consultation, the brand has proven to be a powerful representation of what makes Manitoba a unique destination,” said Ferguson. “We believe in the power of our brand to make Manitobans proud of where they live and to empower them to be enthusiastic brand ambassadors. All three commercials will be launched at Rendez-vous Canada in Calgary on May 12 to a crowd of 1,500 including some 500 international travel trade wholesalers looking to promote new opportunities in Canada to international markets.”

The new commercials can be viewed at

The summer bears and northern lights commercials will air on Air Canada in-flight entertainment on all domestic and international flights as well as network television in Winnipeg, Montreal and Toronto, beginning May 15. The Winnipeg in winter commercial will air later in the year.

Cullen also announced at the event the province is streamlining the way that tourism programs are administered by consolidating programs within Travel Manitoba. Consolidating services and funding will improve efficiency through better alignment of programs and expertise, and help to strengthen outcomes in both tourism development and marketing strategies, he said.

As a result, Travel Manitoba will receive an additional $1.02 million in provincial funding this year to administer tourism development and training programs throughout Manitoba. The Tourism Development Fund and the Star Attractions/Celebrations Enhancement program will once again be offered to ensure rural and northern communities as well as tourism organizations in Winnipeg continue to benefit from direct tourism related grants.

Travel Manitoba is a Crown corporation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba’s $1.5 billion tourism industry. In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, research and public information.

Visit Travel Manitoba online at