Coronavirus and Tourism in Manitoba

April 9, 2020

Dear Industry Partners,

As we head into a weekend that is often marked by gatherings of our loved ones, many of us are no doubt feeling the personal strain of this pandemic, and its required social isolation, along with the business pressures. Although it may be difficult and disappointing, this is not the time to make exceptions. It is time to pull together and act with the best interest of our province in mind by staying home with only those members of your household. Let’s all do our part to flatten the curve. The future depends on it.

It is unfortunate that, as was announced by the Premier on Tuesday, the celebration of Manitoba’s 150th anniversary of joining Confederation will have to be postponed until next year, including the Unite 150 concert planned for June 27 at the Manitoba Legislative Building But we can look forward to 2021 being a year that is filled with events large and small that allows communities to celebrate when it’s safe to once again hold public gatherings.

It is reassuring to see that the Government of Canada further expanded the wage subsidy program (CEWS) yesterday, as well as new funding to support hiring students during the summer through the Canada Summer Jobs program. Further details can be found here.

Like true Manitobans, coming together for the greater good is the cornerstone of a new initiative launched this week. Local Futures is a new crowdfunding website, developed by local software and business development studio Protegra and supported by World Trade Centre Winnipeg, Johnston Group and PKF Lawyers to support small businesses hampered by the impact of COVID-19 closures and regulations. Business owners who register a campaign on Local Futures set a capital goal they believe can help them maintain operations or prepare to reopen their doors in the future. Contributions are solicited from customers who, in exchange, are rewarded with future discounts and deals once business gets back to normal. We encourage you to get involved if you have the need, and consider supporting those businesses participating.

We also encourage you to check out the resources included in Travel Manitoba’s new COVID-19 Manitoba Tourism Industry Toolkit, designed to assist Manitoba’s tourism sector in navigating the evolving resources available to the tourism industry. We will be updating the site as new programs are announced or as they are modified, and will seek clarity on their applicability for Manitoba tourism operators. Travel Manitoba will continue to advocate in support of the tourism sector for provincial investment in specific areas with the province’s Economic Growth Committee of Cabinet.

Another clear and comprehensive resource is the Canadian Business Resilience Network, created by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the federal government to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.

If the interruption of “business as usual” has inadvertently created an opportunity to upgrade your skills or those of your employees, consider the Emerit Tourism Training offered by Tourism HR Canada. They are offering a variety of frontline, supervisory and managerial online training modules free of charge.

And lastly, thank you for your participation in completing our COVID-19 Tourism Impact Study. We received 662 completed surveys and will be analyzing the results in order to have a clear picture of the impact of this crisis on our industry, and in leveraging any funds that may be available to mitigate the severity of its impact. A report on the survey results will be available and distributed in the coming days.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday weekend.

Stay safe, stay well, stay home,

Colin Ferguson signature

Colin Ferguson
Travel Manitoba President & CEO

For previous industry messages see March 13 | March 20 | March 27 | April 3