Canada Foresees Tourism Growth Going From Good To Great
Comprising nearly 2% of GDP, Canada’s travel and tourism industry represents a total of $90 Billion and as such is a significant regional economic driver from coast to coast to coast. Canada's Tourism industry directly employs 627,000 people while a total of 1.6 million jobs are dependent on tourism.
Travel is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. In 2015 international tourism grew by 4.4% with over a billion international trips taken and generating over a trillion dollars of revenue worldwide. Canada is starting to increase its international market share and is currently out pacing the global growth average (6.6%) for the 1st time in over a decade.
While Canada is doing very well, TIAC (the Tourism Association of Canada) says that with a few much needed policy changes by the federal government, we could be much more competitive on the international stage.
Tourism is outpacing nearly every Canadian industrial sector; demand is high, sales are up and many parts of the country are forecasting record years, so why is Tourism asking for government action when so many other sectors are in decline?
"Canada has strong momentum following significant tourism growth in 2014 and 2015. Now is the time for the government to act on the policy issues that will take Canada to the next level as a global destination of choice," stated TIAC President & CEO Charlotte Bell. "Market conditions are ideal with strong travel intentions in key markets, favourable currency exchange rates, increased air lift and Canada's positive media profile. By making Canada a more affordable and accessible destination, tourism has the opportunity to dramatically improve its performance and become an even greater contributor to the Canadian economy," added Bell.
Tourism is Canada's largest employer of youth and Canada's largest export service sector generating nearly $18 in export revenue. Thirty cents of every dollar spent by international travellers in Canada goes to government revenue. Working with Destination Canada, the tourism industry has a goal of welcoming 20 million international visitors to Canada per year, spending $20 billion dollars by 2020. TIAC feels this goal is achievable by addressing the public policies that undermine Canada's competitiveness as a global destination.
This week tourism industry advocates from across Canada are in Ottawa to meet with Parliamentarians to raise awareness of Tourism's potential and to garner support for government action on a number of key initiatives.
Marketing: Canada's tourism industry is looking to develop a new formula and performance-based model to provide long term, predictable and adequate national tourism marketing funding through Destination Canada.
Access: Canada's tourism industry is calling on the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Canadian Transportation Act Review Panel that will lower the cost of air travel to and within Canada by reducing the fees taxes and levies imposed on the ticket-buying public.
Canada's tourism Industry is calling on the government to simplify the visa processing system and increase the number of visa application centres in key markets such as China to make visiting Canada less arduous.
People: Canada's tourism industry is calling on the government to undertake a number of initiatives to help provide Canadian businesses with an adequate labour supply. The initiatives include immigration, seasonal worker programs and initiatives to increase the participation rate of Canadians historically marginalized based on age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or geography.
The Tourism Industry Advocacy Team meeting with Parliamentarians this week includes the following:
Charlotte Bell, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC); Beth Potter, CEO of Tourism Industry Association of Ontario & Chair of the Provincial Territorial Tourism Industry Association of Canada (PTTIA); Darlene Grant Fiander, President, Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS); Kevin Mouflier, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI); Lucie Charland, Directrice générale de l'Association québécoise de l'industrie touristique (AQIT); Cathie Bolstad, Executive Director, Northwest Territories Tourism; Darren Reeder, Executive Director, Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association (BLLHMA); Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) & Blake Rogers, Executive Director, Tourism Industry Association of Yukon (TIAY).