INCREASED PROVINCIAL INVESTMENT TO BOOST TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN MANITOBA
– – – Rural, Northern and Indigenous Tourism and Community Organizations Invited to Apply for Tourism Development Fund Grants: Cullen
CHURCHILL — An increase in development grants will help rural, northern and Indigenous tourism and community organizations attract more visitors to Manitoba through start-up and expanded tourism products and experiences, Growth Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced today at the Churchill launch of the 2016/17 application intake for the Tourism Development Fund.
“The program is another component in the government’s efforts to modernize rural and northern attractions so we can continue to attract more visitors and build Manitoba’s tourism economy,” said Cullen. “Through the cost-shared grants of up to $25,000, we will support planning and development of tourism products and experiences designed to tell Manitoba’s unique local stories.”
The minister is in Churchill with representatives of Manitoba’s business and tourism community to discuss ideas and opportunities to expand economic development, including increased tourism, throughout the province’s north.
The Manitoba government will increase the Tourism Development Fund by more than 50 per cent to $297,000 for 2016/17. Grants of up to $25,000 will be available to support tourism planning and project development by First Nation governments, community development organizations, rural and northern destination organizations, community events and festival groups and tourism groups. Application information is available at www.gov.mb.ca/jec/tourism_sec/tourism_dev_fund.html.
“There is tremendous opportunity for growth in the tourism sector in Manitoba,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “We applaud the government for the investment they have made to market Manitoba. Today’s announcement will help local communities and organizations improve the quality of product that visitors will be able to experience when they come to our province.”
Priority will be given to projects that encourage niche tourism development at the local, destination and regional levels, such as;
• culture and heritage,
• trail-based and nature-based outdoor recreation,
• agri-tourism and culinary tourism, and
• wildlife and nature viewing.
While in Churchill, the minister also announced increased funding totaling $3.1 million for Travel Manitoba under Plan 96/4. This investment will allow Travel Manitoba to expand marketing campaigns targeting Canada, the United States and overseas travellers.
“Tourism in Manitoba generates more than $1.6 billion dollars in economic activity including permanent and seasonal jobs across the province,” said Cullen. “This province has so much to offer visitors and vacationing Manitobans, and we want to work with the tourism industry to encourage more visitors to spend their vacation dollars in Manitoba.”
“Throughout the province there are major attractions that will draw international visitors,” said Colin Ferguson, president and CEO, Travel Manitoba. “The government's increased tourism development and marketing investments will allow us, along with our regional partners, to showcase these unique tourism experiences on the world stage.”