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Travel Manitoba unveils Manitoba: Canada’s Heart Beats campaign

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Manitoba’s $1.4-billion tourism industry has a new slogan and a new swagger.

At a news conference at the RBC Convention Centre this morning, Travel Manitoba said bon voyage to "It’s Manitoba Time," the catch phrase of the past three years, and replaced it with "Manitoba: Canada’s Heart Beats."

It also showed off new television ads that display the province’s vast diversity, from polar bears and beluga whales to cultural and historical attractions.

A $2.4-million advertising blitz will begin in the new year that will include TV ads and promotions on international flights and in social media.

Key target markets will be Alberta, northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with secondary markets in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. Also targeted as emerging markets are France and China.

Colin Ferguson, president and chief executive officer of Travel Manitoba, said the slogan and advertising approach was based on unprecedented research and was focus-group tested.

Manitoba currently ranks seventh among Canadian provinces in revenues from tourism. With the new promotional campaign, Travel Manitoba hopes to boost the province’s ranking to fifth by the end of 2020. That would place Manitoba behind the vastly more populous provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, but ahead of Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

The local tourism industry is expecting 2014 to be a banner year with the launch of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in September and the completion of the Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park and development of Upper Fort Garry.

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