International tourism is on the rise, and countries all over the globe are eager to attract tourists to their destinations through increased marketing spending.
So where does Canada stand when it comes to spending on marketing for international tourism?
In 2017, international arrivals in Canada totalled 20.8 million -- outpacing the previous record set in 2002. This can be attributed in part to the great work of Destination Canada (DC) -- whose funding was increased to $95.5 million after previous budget cuts. Provincial and local marketing organizations and tourism businesses across Canada also came together to increase international awareness of Canada as a tourism destination.
But while the DC funding increase was a step in the right direction, it still isn't enough to put Canada at a competitive advantage when compared to what other North American countries spend, including the U.S. and Mexico.
In our pre-Budget submission, we recommend increasing DC's base funding to $135M and supplementing this with performance-based annual increases of 10%.
A base funding increase from $95.5 million to $135 million per year would bring Canada’s spending on international marketing on par with Australia and ensure that Destination Canada remains innovative and competitive on marketing performance.
Over the coming months, TIAC will continue to advocate for additional marketing funding, including on September 26 during the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance's 2019 Pre-Budget Consultations. Tourism is an economic driver for Canada. It is a wise, long-term economic investment that will benefit Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
As usual, we will keep our members posted on developments.