Successful winter tourism destinations: An examination of The Forks National Historical Site, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Johnson, Amanda J.
Van Winkle, Christine
Climate, whether warm and sunny or cold and snowy, can complement tourism by providing favourable conditions for visitors and their desired activities. As a result, climate is often a main resource upon which tourism destinations depend. Extreme or unpredictable weather may be viewed as unfavourable for attracting visitors. However, even seemingly inclement climate conditions can be used as a resource in tourism. Existing research does not demonstrate how outwardly negative climate conditions might influence destination image, destination selection, and local tourism development. This case study examines how cold climates present both a challenge and an opportunity to developing and promoting an area for tourism. Here we outline how The Forks National Historic Site, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and a popular summer destination was successfully re-framed as a cold-weather attraction. This case study represents a specific instance of how a tourism destination may highlight a unique feature, such as a frozen river. Readers will understand how harsh weather can become an uncommon resource that facilitates tourism and recreation and enhances overall visitor experience. As such, this case study presents a specific example of how various stakeholders came together to offer a unique experience and transformed an otherwise negative climate condition into a positive and desirable aspect of the destination.
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