|Tourism Conference Goes Mobile!|
|By Travel Manitoba | May 3 2011 (0 Comments)|
On Day Two of Travel Manitoba’s 2011 Manitoba Tourism Conference, delegates had the option to register for three different mobile workshops. Each workshop was meant to provide delegates with an opportunity to see the development potential in the areas of agritourism, culinary tourism and trails tourism.
The Agritourism Mobile Workshop took delegates to the Canadian International Grain institute (CIGI) a major educational and technical facility that develops new products, processes and knowledge of Canadian field crops through innovation and collaboration. Participants were able to see the noodle making and testing machinery, the multilevel bakery testing area, the pulse bean (and legume) extrapolating machine and a micro brewery.
Next stop was Grenkow Holsteins dairy farm where participants saw the two Lely robots that milk the farm’s 110 dairy cows and heard how the operation has evolved over 30 years of being in business. The next stop was Danny’s Whole Hog Barbeque and Smokehouse. After a delicious lunch of pulled pork, the group toured the facility and learned about the evolution of the catering business over the past nine years. The group also met Kenny the Sausage Man and watched him prepare sausage.
The last stop was Stonewood Elk Ranch were the participants got up close and personal with the elk and learned about the different products being offered and marketed. The group also heard about the challenges and regulations around elk farming and how it hasn’t deterred the owners from maintaining the ranch.
Lianne Riddell from Folklorama participated in the agritourism mobile workshop and was thrilled with the experience. "What a fantastic day,” she said after returning to Winnipeg. “I didn't realize how vast and fascinating Manitoba agriculture is and I feel like we just scraped the surface! Meeting the people that make it happen and hearing their stories made the tour extra special and something I wish more people could experience."
The Culinary Mobile Workshop took participants to Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company to see their onsite flour mill and learn about how the company works closely with farmers and purchases their products direct, grinds their own grains and presses their own oil.
The group then visited Constance Popp Chocolatier who produces fresh premium artisan chocolate from her shop in St. James. Constance told the group about how she uses Manitoba-produced ingredients and exotic single-origin chocolate. After enjoying a sample, the group participated in a demonstration of the enrobing machine, a mechanized form of hand dipping items in chocolate such as nuts, cookies and candies.
The next stop was the Food Studio, which is a multi-faceted facility that offers a commercial kitchen and meeting and dining space. Owned and operated by two sisters, the facility offers public and private cooking classes. The group had an opportunity to test their culinary skills by preparing portions of the lunch. The last stop on the tour was Blue Lagoon Organics, a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility that is a certified organic farm. The group learned about organic gardening and had a hands-on experience planting and transplanting in the greenhouse.
Tracy Riench from Eastman Tourism shared her thoughts on the Culinary Mobile workshop, “I liked the ‘out and about’ active session as I am more of a hands-on person. In a classroom type session, there isn't always the opportunity for discussion, however, during our mobile workshop, conversations were plentiful. I came away with many ideas that warrant further research and can definitely become viable tourism strategies”. When thinking about how she will use the knowledge she gained from the day, Tracy said, “We have the opportunity to attract thousands of visitors to farmers market, farm tours, incorporating food events and entertainment. We could be doing some really cool things, such as bringing together chefs and local farms; building on the 'Supper in the Field’ event”.
The Happy Trails Mobile Workshop took participants to St. Norbert where Janice Lukes, from Groupe Action St. Norbert, explained how the history and architecture of a community can be incorporated into a hike as seen in the area’s section of the Trans Canada Trail. The group heard that by working with various provincial departments and local organizations the development of the new Duff Roblin Provincial Park was able to link to the surrounding communities and meet the needs of the public.
While on route to Pinawa, Anders Swanson from Active Transportation gave an informative presentation on cycling trails. He highlighted the factors that need to be considered when developing cycling trails and how to connect communities with trails.
In Pinawa, the group took a couple of short hikes to see small tree spirits (faces carved in trees) and learned about the work put into building a bridge over the Winnipeg River. The final wrap up at Wilderness Edge Lodge, a retreat and conference centre, gave the group the opportunity to hear about how trails and natural areas are used as part of the programming at the lodge.
Betty Landego, Development Coordinator Tourism and Special Projects with Thompson Unlimited said, “I have always known that Thompson has great opportunities to grow the tourism industry and after the workshops I realized many more. While I was touring through St. Norbert I realized it was a great way to use the dikes as a tourist attraction because it gave an understanding of what the citizens of southern Manitoba go through each spring and also made it possible to see the beauty of the river.” Betty reflected on Anders Swanson’s presentation that referenced using an old highway for a cycling trail. “Thompson has old railroad beds that can be used for bike trails and boreal forest surrounding the city; we need to utilize the beauty of our forest.” Betty added, “While listening to the speakers during the day I realized they never stopped developing a project, they always continued to persevere by putting an incredible amount of work into a project and building partnerships and if you continue to complete the background work your project will succeed.”
The mobile workshops are meant to inspire delegates and present potential ideas for future development. Thanks to Heartland International Travel &Tours International and Ô Tours for their expertise in bringing the workshops together.
|Categories: culinary | interlake | outdoor adventure | partnerships/collaboration | tourism industry initiatives | winnipeg|
|Tags: Tourism | conference | 2011 | trails | culinary | cuisine | agritourism|
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