As winter arrives, the Portage Regional Tourism Committee is wrapping up some projects and tackling some new ones.
Last month, the committee finished something that had been in the works for years when twenty-one new signs were put up recognizing some of the top attractions in the area. Tourism coordinator Kellie Verwey was happy to see it finally come to fruition.
"This was actually an initiative that started out during COVID. We received a grant from Travel Manitoba and decided to do some pathfinding signage to point out some of the great things in our region. Some things like the Glesby Centre, Stride Place, Rotary Republic Park, Southport, the Portage golf course, Delta Beach, and more. So they're all over the region."
Now that the signs are up, Verwey says they are in the midst of putting up tourist kiosks at a couple of locations as well.
"We're really excited about this project, and it also came from that same grant. We're finally seeing it through. One's going to be at Fort La Reine Museum and the other will be on the island. We just need to decide where. Tourists will be able to get that basic information, lists of hotels, maps, things like that. This will be for when our tourist information centers aren't open or when someone is just passing by."
The committee also launched a survey online as they try to better figure out how tourism impacts the community.
"We want to try and get a feel for how people feel about tourism in Portage, what we could be doing better, things you like, where you like to take tourists when they visit. It'll be pushed through our Island on the Prairie social media, and we'd love to get as many responses as we can. Anybody can fill it out. If you live in the community, if you visited the community, we want as many answers as possible. We will for sure be pushing it to businesses and our elected officials and everyone like that, but the general public, we certainly want to hear from you too."
The committee will spend the next couple of months helping promote some of the many Christmas and winter activities in the area and also start to focus on 2024. Verwey comments that when they talk to people from out of town, it is almost always positive.
"Anytime at an event, we always hear nothing but positive things about our community. This survey is really just about trying to put some numbers to and get a feel for how the community feels about things. But there's a larger project behind it where we're trying to figure out what tourism means to our local economy. So this is kind of one piece of a fairly large puzzle."
Verwey reminds people the Portage la Prairie clothing line launched this past summer is still available at Stride Place as well.
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