Two iconic Manitoba attractions work towards safely welcoming visitors back with the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada
WINNIPEG, MB, July 31, 2020 /CNW/ - This summer, Manitobans are invited to explore their own backyard like never before. Whether taking the family to The Forks – Winnipeg's traditional meeting place – or a journey to Churchill to explore the polar bear capital of the world, Manitobans are encouraged to "visit local" and enjoy all that their home province has to offer.
Manitoba's ever-growing tourism industry is facing an unprecedented year. Though located over 1,700 km apart at opposite ends of the province, both The Forks Renewal Corporation and Churchill Chamber of Commerce are feeling the major impact that COVID-19 has had on travel and tourism. That's why the Government of Canada has implemented significant measures to help tourism businesses keep their employees, pay rent, get access to capital, and help Canadians discover their country this summer.
Federal support to ensure safety of visitors to Manitoba destinations and help local tourism come back strong
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, on behalf of The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $600,000 in federal support for two of Manitoba's top tourist destinations: The Forks in Winnipeg and the town of Churchill.
This investment will support the tourism industry and the many Manitobans who work in it. In Winnipeg, the Forks Renewal Corporation will receive $500,000 to help maintain 1,500 jobs, stabilize operations, and assist with safety measures as they continue a phased reopening. In Churchill, the Churchill Chamber of Commerce will receive $100,000, which will ensure that 80 staff from 50 businesses receive support to help comply with physical distancing guidelines, apply for recovery programs, and welcome back visitors to Northern Manitoba.
On July 28, 2020, the Government of Canada announced over $95 million in funding for Western businesses affected by the pandemic. This support has already assisted over 1,760 businesses, including several in Manitoba's tourism industry. The Government of Canada continues to take action to ensure that Manitoba's tourism industry can support good, local jobs and remains an up-and-coming tourist destination at the heart of the continent.
"From polar bears in Churchill to delicious food and vibrant culture at The Forks, Manitoba has something for everyone. Manitoba's tourism businesses – and those whose livelihoods depend on them – have been hit hard by COVID-19. Our message is clear: we've been here for you with immediate measures, we're here for you now as our economy reopens, and we'll get through this, together. We're working with you to support good, local jobs and help Manitoba tourism come back strong."
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
"Manitoba is full of vibrant cities, towns and villages, beautiful natural attractions, diverse cultures and a proud history. For years, both The Forks and Churchill have helped to not only attract visitors to our province, but have also served as important economic drivers for our tourism industry. Our government recognizes that the tourism industry has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and federal support measures will ensure this sector remains strong and resilient, while supporting the jobs that depend on it. This summer, we are encouraging Manitobans to experience what their own regions and communities have to offer and to "visit local" by discovering our province."
- The Honourable Daniel Vandal, MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital and Minister of Northern Affairs
"The tourism and travel sector have taken a severe hit and are in acute need. This support to The Forks and the Churchill Chamber of Commerce demonstrates the importance the Government of Canada places on helping businesses and entrepreneurs continue their operations, pay their employees, and safely welcome visitors to Manitoba. We are committed to assisting small businesses as they strive to recover and flourish through this pandemic."
- Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)
- In 2017, Tourism contributed 3% to Manitoba's GDP. The industry export revenue was $686.2 million and the total tourism jobs within the province totaled 20,618.
- The Forks attracts over 4 million visitors annually and generates approximately $190 million in direct and indirect economic benefits.
- Churchill is Manitoba's most popular northern destination for attracting visitors. Every year, 530,000 people travel to Northern Manitoba. In 2017, Churchill generated approximately $36.9 million in direct annual expenditures due to tourism.
- Western Economic Diversification Canada
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 1-877-303-3388
SOURCE Western Economic Diversification Canada
For further information: Alexander Cohen, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, [email protected]; Nathalie Leroux, Director of Policy, Planning and External Relations, Western Economic Diversification, [email protected]