|Travel MB staff - Manitoba’s fishing and hunting outfitters and lodges are a big part of this province’s tourism industry. How big? Well, until recently we really couldn’t be certain. But a 2010 economic assessment of Manitoba’s fishing and hunting sector showed that total spending in Manitoba by hunters and anglers totaled $469.1 million.
Although fifty-four percent of that total was spent on transportation, including vehicle and boat purchases, fuel, etc., that spending generated 6,180 full time jobs – nearly 1.2% of Manitoba’s employment, while revenue for fishing and hunting lodge operators stood at almost $35 million, or about 7% of total spending by anglers and hunters.The assessment surveyed over 130 operators and 429 licence holders across Manitoba, Canada and the U.S. The assessment showed that satisfaction with Manitoba’s fishing and hunting was great at nearly 8 or higher on a scale of 10.
One of the highlights of the assessment is not a statistic that can be found in the report – it is the fact that Manitoba operators participated, providing financial information so that the study could be completed.
“We were very pleased and appreciative of the industry participating in the study,” said Colin Ferguson, Travel Manitoba’s President and CEO. “Not only did it mean we had accurate data to reflect the importance of the fishing and hunting sector to Manitoba’s economy, it showed a willingness to join forces to find solutions during tough times.”
With the hunting and fishing sector facing economic, regulatory and environmental challenges, now more that ever there is a need for Travel Manitoba, the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association (MLOA) and industry operators to work together.
“There is a bright future for Manitoba’s resource-based tourism industry, but those who feel most optimistic about it are also those who recognize the importance and value of becoming engaged in opportunities that can help grow their business,” said Paul Turenne, Executive Director of the MLOA. “Travel Manitoba serves a critical function in attracting visitors to the province, and we at the MLOA are eager to enhance and develop our relationship with Travel Manitoba to ensure our world-class hunting and fishing continue to draw more and more tourists to the province.”
In this spirit of collaboration, on April 12 we hosted the second annual Fish/Hunt Summit, attended by the MLOA and industry representatives from across the province. With a goal to indentify challenges and discuss new marketing opportunities, the summit reinforced that we are committed to working with the industry.
“Working directly with industry provides Travel Manitoba with the needed information to develop a fishing and hunting marketing plan for the future”, said Ferguson. “The Fish/Hunt Summit has proved an excellent vehicle for industry and Travel Manitoba to address many challenges including where to place marketing investment.
“This partnership is working, and I encourage more from industry to get involved,” added Ferguson.
“This is a rare opportunity to participate in a government entity and personally I see these meetings as such a great chance to partner, and am more than willing to share my time with you,” said Ron Dare of Bear Track Outfitters after the summit. “Now it looks as we may have an advocate beside a business community that delivers the hunt/fish product.”
The summit helped to clarify roles in terms of marketing, advocacy and intergovernmental relations. Based on the discussion, Travel Manitoba has outlined the following next steps:
- -We are committed to improving communication between our staff and members of the industry. Whether that be partnering on marketing opportunities or sharing market research, our goal is to find a better way to reach you with the information you need.
- -We will assist in fostering a better relationship with the Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship. While Travel Manitoba’s primary role is, and will continue to be, as a marketing organization, we will add our voice to that of the MLOA to encourage better cooperation in decision-making that affects the industry.
- -The recommendations of the industry will help us in formulating the annual Fish/Hunt Marketing plan. Shel Zolkewich, Travel Manitoba’s Fish/Hunt consultant, will continue to work with you to make sure you’re aware of all marketing partnership opportunities. Shel can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to view the report from the Fish/Hunt Summit, and the Fishing and Hunting Economic Impact Assessment and value your feedback on either.