Throne speech promises tourism dough

We here at MLOA were encouraged to finally see an increased investment in tourism marketing announced in the recent provincial throne speech.

The tourism industry, brought together by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, has been lobbying the government for the past several years to increase its funding to Travel Manitoba so that our provincial agency’s marketing budget can increase. Travel Manitoba’s annual grant is now less than half of Tourism Saskatchewan’s, and we are tenth out of ten provinces when it comes to funding our provincial destination marketing agency.

But that could change soon, as our provincial government’s throne speech on Nov. 16 contained the following passage:  “As called for by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to support
Travel Manitoba, we will ramp up our investments in tourism to grow the industry. We will increase our annual tourism expenditures to achieve the level of investment, as called for, while creating a sustainable funding model to boost tourism and market Manitoba to the world. This strategy will create exciting new jobs and welcome visitors to our great province.”

We are excited to see the financial details of this plan but congratulate the government on committing to what is essentially a money-making proposition for our province. Investment in tourism marketing helps bring visitors to our province’s market-ready accommodations and attractions, including lodges, outfitters, hotels, B&B’s, museums, restaurants, guided tours, and outdoor excursions. The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and our tourism committee worked hard to convince the government of this benefit, and it looks like our hard work has paid off!