Over six thousand years ago, people journeyed to the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers to meet, trade and share experiences. Millennia later, with one of the largest French-speaking communities outside Quebec on the east bank and The Forks on the west, Winnipeg remains a significant crossroads of culture, commerce and tourism.
Arts and culture lovers from around the world hail Winnipeg as one of Canada’s premier destinations. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet is surrounded by scores of arts groups. MTS Centre, Manitoba’s largest indoor setting for sports and entertainment, is a busy year-round venue attracting the world’s top shows, rock gods and pop stars. A four-season slate of annual festivals, including Folklorama, Festival du Voyageur and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, draw record crowds every year. And in 2014, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights commenced its global dialogue. Stories are shared, discussions are encouraged and alternative viewpoints are welcomed, all with the goal of creating a world where everyone is respected and valued.
Winnipeg's CMA is home to exciting and diverse attractions like the new Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo—featuring polar bears and other Arctic animals—as well as Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature, a Scandinavian-inspired spa with indoor/outdoor hot and cold pools, saunas and body treatments. These unique must-sees are supported by an array of accommodations, tantalizing culinary experiences and recreation options that appeal to every traveller.
Grow closer to Winnipeg as you embrace our past and celebrate our future.
The tourism sector in the Winnipeg CMA employs more than 44,000 people at approximately 3,000 establishments. This includes a mixture of small, medium and large local, national and international businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The sector is represented by seasonal and year-round operations, dining establishments, bed and breakfasts, hotels, outfitters, outdoor adventures, tour operators, eco-tourism, festivals, museums, cultural events, casinos, performing arts, spectator sports, amusement parks and heritage sites.
Top attractions include the Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada; The Manitoba Museum, featuring natural and cultural exhibits; the Royal Canadian Mint; Assiniboine Park; St. Boniface; and The Forks National Historic Site of Canada, featuring a food market, independent merchants, green space, a concert stage and historical interpretations of the site. Winnipeg is also home to one of the best collections of turn-of-the-century buildings in North America.
The Winnipeg CMA’s tourism sector generates more than $3.9 billion in GDP annually.
Winnipeg CMA is visited by 3.8 million people (overnight and day trips) for leisure, business and other personal reasons.
Total direct visitor expenditures generated in 2014 were an estimated $673 million.
In 2014, 474,000 people (or 12 per cent of travellers) visited Winnipeg's CMA for business purposes and spent $118 million.
With $76 million in direct spending in 2014, U.S. visitors represent Winnipeg CMA’s largest international travel market (accounting for 69 per cent of visitors within this segment).
Manitobans represent the largest share of visitors to Winnipeg's CMA (3.0 million or 79 per cent).
Overall hotel occupancy in 2017 averaged 71 per cent, which outperformed the Canadian average of 66 per cent.
Tourism Winnipeg, a division of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., is the city’s destination marketing organization, responsible for attracting new tourism business to Winnipeg and increasing overnight visitations to the city through a wide array of collaborative initiatives with industry and partners.
Visitors to Winnipeg annually
Contribution to GDP
Direct visitor expenditures, 2014
Hotel occupancy rate, 2017