Winnipeg named tourism hotspot by travel site Expedia

It’s one of the world’s hottest growing tourist destinations, attracting travelers in large numbers from around the globe: according to travel giant Expedia, the latest hotspot isn’t the tropical paradise you might expect… it’s Winnipeg.

Expedia’s annual travel trend tracker says there’s been a whopping 465 per cent increase in flights to the Manitoba capital, with other prairie cities like Saskatoon and Regina bringing in similar numbers.

Economic Development Winnipeg said its three campaigns with Expedia in 2019 resulted in more than 15,000 plane tickets booked, almost 42,000 hotel stays and a total of $7 million in revenue.

READ MORE: Travel bloggers, Airbnb pick Manitoba as emerging travel destination

“When we look at trending destinations, we’re not seeing those more touristy places like Montreal or Toronto popping up,” Expedia’s Christie Hudson told 680 CJOB.

“Those places are still popular, but they’re not growing at the rate of some of these secondary cities.”

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Maureen Fitzhenry with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights said she feels the city’s rising reputation is reflected in the feedback she hears from the museum’s visitors.

“They just say, ‘powerful museum, an outstanding experience, one of the most amazing museums ever, comparable to the great international museums’… those are just a few. So it’s really, really encouraging for us,” said Fitzhenry.

“In 2019, we had visitors from every single province and territory in Canada, every single state in the USA – which was amazing, including D.C., Hawaii and Alaska – and 83 other countries from around the world.”

In addition to Winnipeg and other prairie cities named as prime tourist destinations, Expedia’s trends also listed locations in Spain, Peru, Japan, Italy, and Australia among the top spots for 2020 – but none came close to Winnipeg’s increase of 465 per cent, with most experiencing growth in single or double digits.

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