Marriott Canada held their Owner’s Conference in Ottawa on June 11 and 12 bringing together representatives from Marriott Canada’s hotels together with Parliamentarians to discuss issues around Canada’s accommodation sector.
TIAC President and CEO Charlotte Bell led a dynamic discussion with The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism to kick things off on the evening of June 11 during a Q&A session on tourism issues.
The Minister spoke of Canada’s growing international tourism arrivals in 2017 and well into 2018, the importance of the Chinese market during the Canada-China Year of Tourism and provided a progress report on the New Tourism Vision since its launch in May 2017. Among other things, the Minister noted the addition of 7 new visa application centers in China, the lifting of Mexican visa requirements, substantial increased marketing base funding for Destination Canada as well as a number of investments for indigenous tourism, Parks Canada and Statistics Canada.
TIAC had an opportunity to raise a number of issues impacting the accommodations sector with the Minister, including continued labour shortages where TIAC’s President and CEO called for robust immigration and training policies to help address shortfalls; the ill-timed introduction of biometric requirements on some international travellers and the need for better planning and communication to avoid unintended consequences; and the importance of bolstering marketing investments to ensure sustainable funding as Canada competes in an increasingly fierce global tourism environment. TIAC also thanked the Minister for her ongoing support for the industry and called upon her to continue to help ensure better coordination between government departments and agencies in addressing issues impacting our sector.
TIAC continues to be the national voice for the tourism industry, advocating for progressive policies that will help ensure growth and sustainability for Canada’s tourism sector. We were delighted to have this opportunity to participate in this important forum with the Minister of Small Business and Tourism and will continue to update our members on developments on our advocacy efforts.