More Tourists Will Be Pouring into City This Year

By McNeill, Murray | Winnipeg Free Press, June 15, 2016 | Go to article overview

More Tourists Will Be Pouring into City This Year


McNeill, Murray, Winnipeg Free Press


IT'S shaping up to be a good year for Winnipeg's tourism industry, according to the latest forecast from the Conference Board of Canada.

In its Travel Markets Outlook report released on Tuesday, the Ottawa-based think tank forecasts a solid 2.7 per cent increase in overnight visits to the city this year.

It predicts the biggest increase will be in visits by American and overseas tourists. The number of U.S. visitors is expected to jump 5.2 per cent to 136,000, while the number of overseas visitors is expected to grow by 4.5 per cent to 77,000.

The number of overnight visits by Canadians is expected to climb by 2.3 per cent to 1.41 million. And in terms of types of visitors, the board predicts overnight stays by business travellers will increase by 4.3 per cent to 289,000, and overnight stays by pleasure travellers will rise by 2.6 per cent to 264,000.

"A favourable exchange rate coupled with low gas prices will make Canada an attractive destination for both Canadian and international travellers in 2016," said Greg Hermus, associate director for the conference board's Canadian Tourism Research Institute.

The report said solid economic prospects, sustained employment growth and rising consumer confidence also should help bring more domestic travellers to the city.

An additional boost will be provided by Winnipeg's hosting of the NHL Heritage Classic in October, the report added. The industry will get a further boost next year from hosting the Canada Games and from the opening of the new Outlet Collection at the Winnipeg fashion outlet mall, now under construction in southwest Winnipeg.

The CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, whose operations include Tourism Winnipeg, said although the agency budgeted for a 2.7 per cent increase in overnight visitors this year, it now appears that number may be too conservative. …

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