The Municipality of North Norfolk's joined the Tourism Westman District.
Mayor Neil Christoffersen says in order to help boost tourism in the municipality, he felt it was time to try a new approach. North Norfolk was previously a member of Pembina Valley Tourism.
"A number of years ago there was the Central Manitoba Tourism District which took in the municipality's along the Number 1 highway from North Norfolk to Headingley, and the corresponding ones along the Number 2 highway as well. There's also Pembina Valley Tourism Association which is south of that," outlines Christoffersen. "Three or five years ago the province said we're going to amalgamate the two and from then on they'd be one tourism district."
Christoffersen says the Manitoba Agriculture Museum is also a member of Tourism Westman, so he decided it was time to get into some talks. "We got some information and took it back to council, and council felt we should join Westman. It made sense in a way that a lot of tourism that does stop in our area is along the highway, so if we can get more tourism from the West with people going to Winnipeg, we might benefit more from it. We can list all the same tourist destinations and golf courses in their tourism pamphlet. So we're going to give that a whirl, not to say that Pembina Valley Tourism wasn't doing a good job, they were. We just thought we'd try something a little different."
"I'm really excited about this," admits Christoffersen. "It's always nice to try something new and see where it goes. You change your course, make some corrections, evaluate and move on. I believe that tourism is a major part of rural Manitoba, and not just people travelling from other countries and provinces, but people from our own local areas and people who come from other parts of Manitoba to see what we have to offer here."
He adds they never talked about how long they would stick with Westman but feels they'll check on the numbers in a couple of years.