The winter months in Northern Manitoba are a snowmobiling mecca, perfect for the avid and recreational sledder. SledMB53 is a Northern Manitoba initiative designed for those with a vested interest in increasing winter tourism North of the 53rd parallel. Since November 2018, this organization has been working with stakeholders to improve trails and facilities for local users and in preparation for visitors from other parts of the province, country and world.
To ready local businesses and communities for new tourism, SledMB53 worked with the Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC), to develop and deliver the Sled Friendly Program. This bold project includes a training course and certification program designed to heighten awareness of what makes a Sled Friendly community and business, and provides guidelines to help applicants become either a Certified Sled Friendly Business or Certified Sled Friendly Community.
For Northern Manitoba to be seen as the premier snowmobile destination and sledding playground of the north businesses and communities need to be ready to receive and serve new clients. The Sled Friendly program ensures they’re equipped with the knowledge, products and services these visitors will expect.
Achieving this certification demonstrates to potential customers and guests that the business or community has dedicated time and effort to implement welcoming and safe accommodations to meet and exceed their snowmobiling needs. Plus, the learning component enhances the business and communities’ ability to understand its unique audience and how serving them can contribute to the economic development of their business and community.
With snowmobile tourism on the rise and the proper plan in place, comes the potential for winter economic growth for the businesses and communities who participate. Once visitors experience the hospitality of the North the potential for repeat visits on- and off-season is high.
An added benefit to getting certified comes in the form of free advertising and promotion including, a listing on the SLEDMB53 website, a listing on the MTEC website, a digital ad on the Snoman website highlighting the program, a social media marketing pack so they can promote their certification, and social media promotions on the SLEDMB53 social channels.
The training and certification is free through MTEC to any community and business North of the 53rd parallel. Registration and online training can be accessed through the SLEDMB53 (https://sledmb53.ca/) and MTEC (https://mtec.mb.ca/sled-friendly-training.asp) websites. For more information, please visit the SLEDMB53 contact page.