- Written by PAULINE ZULUETA & DEJA LEONARD PAULINE ZULUETA & DEJA LEONARD
- Published: 17 March 2014 17 March 2014
New campaign promotes the province as an original Canadian destination
As the spring and summer seasons approach, many Canadians are thinking about their next vacation. While many will be booking flights to sunny and sandy destinations, a new hot spot in Canada is emerging for activity-loving travellers.
To the rest of the country, Manitoba may be seen as just a place for camping, fishing or canoeing. But Travel Manitoba's new brand and marketing campaign aims to show the rest of the country — and the world — that the province is more than just a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. .
Linda Witfield, vice president of sales and marketing at Travel Manitoba, says that the organization brought their campaign to Alberta because the Canadian Tourism Commission's research shows that Albertans are more likely to want to experience the type of tourism that Manitoba can offer.
More specifically, the new commercials tested very well in Calgary. Viewers reportedly found the most appeal in the many rivers and lakes present in Manitoba, as well as in the ability to visit friends and family in the province.
The campaign's slogan "Manitoba: Canada's Heart Beats" was designed to convey the province's diverse attractions and cultural features.
Jillian Recksiedler, communications specialist for Travel Manitoba, says the slogan also refers to the location of Manitoba as a central province, and the fresh energy that results from the many new travel developments and experiences becoming available.
"It implies that there is a lot of energy pumping through our veins here," Recksiedler says.
For the gentle traveller, a music festival in Winnipeg or a walking tour at the Manitoba Legislative Building may be the preferred activities.
And for the cultural explorers, Winnipeg's museums may be an exciting stop. Opening this September is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which will feature interactive exhibits, learning programs, and human rights stories about everything from Canadian democratic rights and freedoms to the Holocaust. The Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum is also on hand and allows visitors to explore Franco-Manitoban history.
Manitoba also offers 300 kilometres of hiking trails at Riding Mountain National Park, snorkeling with beluga whales in Hudsons Bay, or a jet boat ride to go polar bear watching in Churchill.
Witfield says that Travel Manitoba has a goal of increasing visitor spending from the current 1.4 billion to 1.7 billion by 2017.
Sarah Lesperance is a student at the University of Manitoba, and has lived in Winnipeg for almost all of her life. She says she can see the many reasons that people might consider coming to Manitoba.
"Although our winters are known to be wicked cold, no one ever mentions how awesome our summers are. It gets really hot and we have amazing lakes in Manitoba," she says.
"We have a beautiful parliament building, great shops in Osborne and the Exchange District. Our zoo is located in the Assiniboine Park, which is gorgeous."
Recksiedler adds that people in Manitoba are known for their friendliness and love to host out of town visitors.
"Our tourism brand is referring to that hospitality and that welcoming nature of our people."
Getting to Mantitoba:
Flights range from $350-$450 during the spring and summer months, though some airlines may offer last-minute promotions. For more budget adventurers, the drive to Winnipeg from Calgary takes approximately 13 hours of straight driving.