March staycations very popular in Manitoba, despite loosened restrictions

A beach near Lake Winnipeg just off the shores of Gimli, Man. File Photo

Vacancy rates at Manitoba resorts are extremely low for spring break.

That’s despite the fact families now have many more options when it comes to booking a holiday.

Read more: Canadians embrace travel again as COVID-19 border measures ease

“Based on the last couple of years where people were not able to travel south, they want that flexibility of being able to get in the car, drive a couple hours and have a great holiday,” explained Jackie Storry, the vice-president of sales and marketing for Lakeview Hotels and Resorts.

Elkhorn Resort near Clear Lake is close to 95 per cent full for spring break.

Hecla’s Lakeview resort is completely sold out from March 26 to April 3.

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“There is still hesitancy to travel, whether that’s within Canada or to travel internationally,” said Jillian Recksiedler, a senior content specialist for Tourism Manitoba.

Read more: Looking to escape the Winnipeg cold? It might be tough finding a direct flight

“Of course there’s still testing so there’s still a little bit of a barrier. For spring break, I’m not surprised that our resorts and attractions are busy,” she continued.

Local hiking advocate Jamie Manness says Manitoba’s trails probably won’t be as busy as they were last year.

Mannes says that’s because many hikers are opting for adventures in Alberta or B.C. instead.

In turn, Manness expects tourists from other provinces to take advantage of Manitoba’s many hiking trails, moreso than last year.

“(Manitoba) was really showcased well during the pandemic, so I think there’s a lot that people still want to explore,”

“I think it’s the job of all of us who are in the know to keep sharing that information and keep highlighting different areas of the province.”

As for an off the grid spring break adventure, Tourism Manitoba recommends exploring the areas around the suspension bridges in Souris and Pinawa.

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