Home is where the heart is – that is the sentiment Travel Manitoba wants all Manitobans to embrace this summer with a new campaign and contest to create local tourism ambassadors. With the green light for Manitobans to travel safely between communities throughout the province and the reopening of parks, campgrounds, restaurants, museums and other attractions, Manitobans are in a great position to rediscover what they love about the province while supporting the local economy.
“Manitoba’s experiences, whether they are wild, rural or urban, remind us that home is where the heart is,” said Travel Manitoba President and CEO, Colin Ferguson. “We are encouraging locals to show Manitoba some love this summer by safely exploring new – and returning to favourite – destinations around the province.”
As part of the campaign, partly funded through a partnership with Destination Canada, Travel Manitoba is launching a contest that asks how locals are showing Manitoba some love. Entrants can tell Travel Manitoba where in the province they are travelling this summer and winners could receive up to $500 to offset their travel costs simply by sharing their experiences on their social networks – no need to be a professional photographer or influencer. See contest details and entry form (open until 5 pm CST Friday, June 26).
“Manitobans have a great opportunity to safely explore their own province this summer,” said Honourable Ralph Eichler, Minister of Economic Development and Training. “I encourage all Manitobans to support local restaurants and businesses and become tourists in our own backyard. Experience first-hand that home is where the heart is.”
Manitobans are reminded to explore their own province while being COVID Careful – maintain physical distancing, stay home when sick, wash hands frequently and opt for pick-up services when visiting local restaurants and businesses.
This new campaign is a shift in focus for the organization that just last year was celebrating being named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 regions in the world to visit in 2019.
“Our international profile certainly got a boost,” said Ferguson of last year’s designation. “But Manitobans travelling within Manitoba have always been – and will continue to be – vital to Manitoba’s tourism industry.”
Pre-pandemic, tourism contributed $1.6 billion to Manitoba’s economy, with 85% of visitation and 58% of expenditures coming from Manitobans travelling within the province. Estimates indicate that tourism spending will decrease between 25-60% in 2020, and between 6,800 to 11,600 jobs could be lost. The reopening of many tourism attractions, accommodations and parks means Manitobans can safely enjoy their summer by being COVID Careful while supporting the small and medium-sized businesses that make up the majority of the tourism industry.