Travel Manitoba hopes splashy new ads lure in more tourists

Travel Manitoba is hoping a new series of splashy commercials will draw in droves of tourists to experience the province’s wild wonders and Prairie culture.

The tourism organization released three videos on Thursday that showcase Manitoba’s wildlife viewing opportunities in Churchill, winter festivals in Winnipeg and picturesque landscapes across the province.

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“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,” Colin Ferguson, president and CEO of Travel Manitoba, said in a statement.

The three commercials are already online, but a formal launch is taking place in Calgary on Friday at Rendez-vous Canada, an international tourism conference with an expected crowd of 1,500, including a possible 500 representatives from international travel organizations.

Growth and Enterprise Minister Cliff Cullen said the province has boosted funding for Travel Manitoba for two straight years and values the economic opportunities tourism creates in Manitoba.

Travel Manitoba commercials

Manitoba Tourism Minister Cliff Cullen speaks at the Travel Manitoba announcement. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Travel Manitoba received a 42 per cent funding boost last year, going from $7.5 million to $11 million. It was the first such boost the organization had received in a decade.

The 2017 provincial budget set aside more than $12 million for Travel Manitoba to help encourage people to visit the province, Cullen said.

The province is giving another $1.02 million to the Crown corporation this year as part of a process Cullen said will consolidate and improve tourism business development programs.

Last fall Chuck Davidson, president of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, said Manitoba lagged behind every other province on tourism spending, even with the 2016 boost from the Pallister government.

The tourism industry brings an estimated $1.5 billion into Manitoba every year, the province said in a news release.

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