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This article was published 3/12/2018 (375 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The bitter prairie winters haven't stopped Manitoba from being voted one of the "hottest" tourist destinations of 2019.
Winnipeggers should get used to being ranked among the best in the world, Mayor Brian Bowman said, adding that Manitoba and Winnipeg have been recently garnering top tourism ratings from travel guides.
TravelLemming has given Manitoba the Judge's Top Choice award for 2019 in North America. This designation comes after the province was voted one of the top 10 destinations inregional travel destinations by Lonely Planet, and Winnipeg was voted one of the top 19 places to visit in 2019 by Airbnb.
"It's really encouraging to see the external validation behind the investments and energy that we've been putting in to building Winnipeg as a world class destination," said Bowman. "We're all trying to do the same thing and that's celebrate our community, share it with the world, and bring in tourism dollars to help support jobs here in our community."
Winnipeg's "multicultural flavour" was among the city's highlighted features from Lonely Planet, with Airbnb highlighting various sites in its designation, including The Forks and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).
"Winnipeg is an undiscovered cultural centre spilling over with a burgeoning culinary scene, modern museums, and boutique shops galore," TravelLemming said on its top destinations list.
Churchill's polar bear and beluga whale sighting tours were also noted as some of the top activities for tourists in Manitoba.
"While these rankings are incredible, we're just getting going as a community," Bowman said. "I think Winnipeggers should get used to being ranked amongst the best in the world as a tourist destination cause we're just really getting our stride now as a community."
Bowman added that developing city sites such as Canada's Diversity Gardens in Assiniboine Park, and The Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, are examples of tourism investments that will continue to grab the world's attention. Both attractions are scheduled to be completed in 2020.
"I think the world is starting to take notice of the great things that are happening in Winnipeg, and we do our part every day to try and push out that story and to allow us to no longer be a hidden gem or best kept secret," said Economic Development Winnipeg CEO Dayna Spiring. "It's Winnipeg, it's hip and it's cool, and it's a place that people want to be."
Spiring added that she believes Winnipeg is now beginning to gain attention due to its growing list of attractions such as The Forks, True North Square, and Investors Group Field. Spiring said each attraction on their own may not be enough to bring people to Winnipeg, but together they make an impressive itinerary for a tourist.