Watchee

Manitoba tourist draws take home national awards

Folklorama and Wat’Chee Lodge have been named as winners at the Tourism Association of Canada’s (TIAC) National Tourism Awards, during the awards gala held yesterday in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Folklorama, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, won in the Event of the Year category and was also a finalist in the category of Business of the Year (single unit). As the longest running multicultural festival in the world, Folklorama provides local cultural communities with the opportunity to showcase aspects of their culture to tourists from all over the world, while benefiting from the festival’s unique revenue sharing model.

Offering full-service non-consumptive wilderness adventures to see polar bears and their cubs in Wapusk National Park, Wat’Chee Lodge won in the Business of the Year (single unit) category. The experience at Wat’Chee Lodge, which is Aboriginal-owned and operated, is closely connected to the cultural traditions and values of the Hudson Bay Cree.

The other Manitoba finalist was the Clear Lake Golf Course, which was nominated in the Sustainable Tourism category. The Clear Lake Golf Course has been successful in shifting from a conventional waste-stream generating course to a model of sustainability, innovation and recycling. The public course located in Riding Mountain National Park is now over 85% organic and has adopted ecologically friendly maintenance and operations practices.

“High-caliber events and attractions like Folklorama, Wat’Chee Lodge and Clear Lake Golf Course reflect the importance of the cultures and environments that make Manitoba such a unique tourist destination,” said Hubert Mesman, Travel Manitoba’s President and CEO. “Taking top honours in a national competition demonstrates that Manitoba’s tourism attractions are nationally and internationally competitive when it comes to drawing visitors and exceeding their expectations. Congratulations to Folklorama and Wat’Chee Lodge.”

TIAC has been the national voice for those involved in the business of tourism since 1930. The organization identifies, promotes and supports policies and programs designed to benefit the industry’s growth and development. TIAC also lobbies legislators and regulators to support actions that enhance profitability, while removing barriers to growth.

The TIAC National Tourism Awards were developed in 2003 and are presented by The Globe and Mail. The awards were developed to recognize and foster Canadian tourism excellence and were presented during Canada’s Tourism Leadership Summit.

Travel Manitoba is a Crown Corporation under provincial legislation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba’s $1.2 billion tourism industry.  In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, product development, research and public information.

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