Winter is the bane of existence to some in Manitoba and a badge of honour to others.
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president and CEO Chuck Davidson said winter also has untapped potential when it comes to tourism.
Davidson said tourism is growing because people are creating unique experiences like skating on the Red River Mutual Trail, Festival du Voyageur and A Maze in Snow located in St. Adolphe, about 25 minutes south of Winnipeg.
“By 2022, we want to be a $2.2 billion dollar industry, so there still tons of room for growth in this province, and creating more product like ones we are creating, that’s what’s going to attract more people to Manitoba,” said Davidson.
He said every year there is $100 million in increased spending on tourism products in Manitoba.
“People like authentic experiences, and that’s what they are looking for. Whether it’s getting the opportunity to go skating on a river that’s nine kilometres long in minus 40 degree weather, that’s something cool to do. Whether it going to this snow maze that could be creating a record for the largest snow maze in the world, that’s a cool thing to do,” he said.
“It’s because we are creating these unique experiences.”
The Forks said its winter activities are a stop for tourists from all over the world on their way to Churchill, and people from North Dakota.
Every year traffic increases between five and 20 per cent.
Festival du Voyageur said last year about four per cent of tickets were sold out of province and out of the country.
“This does not take into account snow sculptors and bands from out of province and out of country that travel here for the festival,” said marketing and communications manager Nicolas Audette in an email to CTV News Sunday.
“We have dedicated digital marketing campaigns targeting people in markets outside of Manitoba like Thunder Bay, Fargo, Minneapolis, etc. We also work with partners like Tourism Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba to promote our festival outside of Manitoba and outside of Canada.”