I don't know if it was the billboard in Neepawa or the mad deals on nips at Sals, but according to Travel Manitoba President and CEO Hubert Mesman, MB Homecoming was a success...possibly...well, maybe...could've helped tourism or something...
I mean, we all should know by now that all these programs set out by the Economic Developments and Chambers of Winnipeg have no real accountable measures in place, so why would we expect any details on the success of this $2.5 million taxpayer expenditure? That would mean the organizers running these programs may actually lose their firm grip on the handouts from Selinger, and have to go out and find a real job like the rest of us. At least Yes Winnipeg! were able to raise the appropriate dollars from the private sector to pay themselves a salary for the next few years - a much tastier and more respectful nipple to suckle from.
Yes, when asked about the project's success in hitting the targets of 50,000 additional visitors & 100,000 additional hotel-room nights this year in Manitoba, Executive Director Kevin Walters proudly exclaimed "it's impossible to tell."
Wow! This tourism initiative really lived up to its tagline "You ain't seen nothing yet!" No we haven't, nor will we ever truly know if this brilliance in tourism marketing did anything more than to keep a bunch of government funded cliques with enough money to pay their bills through the 2010 season.
When will the madness stop?! When will we quit allowing for these programs to exist without any accountability to results? Shouldn't part of the plan to award the funding be to outline how results will be measured? Isn't this key to any investment of taxpayer dollars? Did no one at the MB Hotel Association think that if family members were inviting other family members to come back to MB for a visit that they may very well stay with the relative that invited them?
Thanks MB Homecoming 2010, you truly brought "Spirited Energy" back to Manitoba.