On July 31, TIAC submitted its list of recommendations as part of pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2020 federal budget.
This submission underscores the importance of Canada’s tourism industry to policymakers, highlights the issues that are hampering progress, and recommends actions needed to support industry growth.
The seven recommendations outlined in TIAC’s submission highlight the need for improvement in four key areas of Canada’s tourism sector: Labour, Access, Cost Competitiveness and Marketing Funding.
While the 2019 budget provided several wins for tourism, there’s still much work to be done to ensure stable, long-term sector growth.
The following summarizes the recommendations:
- Make Destination Canada a more competitive tourism marketing organization to ensure long-term sustainable funding by increasing base funding to $135 million annually.
- Streamline the visa application process and bring low-risk countries under the Eta program for temporary resident visas.
- Ensure that the collection of biometric requirements does not hamper tourism growth through ongoing monitoring of visa processing times, vigorous communications campaigns and investments in visa application centers (VACs) and new technologies.
- Support measures that facilitate the freedom to move people across the border and through airports with expanded pre-clearance and adequate investments in National Transportation Infrastructure to meet service levels.
- Use industry labour needs as the principal determiner to access all immigration streams, regardless of skill level. This includes permanent immigration and temporary labour solutions that meet the skills needs of the sector and regional labour markets and continue to make investments in skills labour programs that are accessible to non-STEM occupations, including hospitality and accommodations.
- Reduce taxes paid by international visitors to Canada through the removal of GST on tourism products sold abroad to international visitors; and reduce costs attributed to fees, levies and taxes on air travel to help make the cost of air travel more competitive.
- Enhance, streamline, and expand the Canadian Experience Fund through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies to continue to support the diversification of Canadian tourism product.
As our submission has now been submitted to policymakers, our work has only just begun. With the federal election on the horizon, we will be advocating strongly for our members’ best interests over the coming months. Stay tuned for updates!