Over the last few months, you may have heard about our ongoing work to collaboratively design and develop TIAC’s 2022-2025 international business development strategy (IBDS). Better yet, you may have participated in the process through one of the engagement methods to collaboratively design our IBDS that is responsive to its changing environment, instills confidence in the industry, looks to a future where Canadian tourism is flourishing, and strengthens TIAC’s advocacy efforts!
Since July of 2021, we have made significant and exciting progress on the research and co-design of our upcoming IBDS. Across the process, we have meaningfully engaged a breadth and diversity of stakeholders to include a broad range of perspectives, experiences, and priorities, including industry, partners, and Canadians more broadly. To achieve this, our project team, made up of two consultants along with TIAC staff and Board Members have planned and mobilized a range of engagement methods. This update provides more context and some key takeaways that have come out of this research process and will directly inform the co-design of our IBDS.
Our engagement of industry members and partners includes the industry survey which we circulated via our membership channels and LinkedIn from the end of October until mid-November and which received 138 responses. We have also engaged directly with industry members across Canada and key partners such as Destination Canada, TourismHR Canada, and ITAC among others, conducting a total of 17 key informant interviews. These interviews explored TIAC’s current role and collaborations for international business development and the ideal future vision of international business development in Canada. On top of these research activities, we further engaged members at this year’s TIAC Congress where the consulting team gathered inputs from delegates and led them through future visioning discussion at the IBDS drafting table. Some things we’re hearing clearly is that TIAC has an important role to play as the voice of industry in representing industry interests when it comes to stimulating and attracting international travel to Canada. We also recognize that as industry navigates the challenges posed by impacts of COVID-19 there is a continued need for TIAC’s advocacy efforts for recovery and connected to safety, access, and dispersion in terms of international business development.
Knowing that tourism is good for all of Canada, we have also gone beyond collecting only our sector perspectives and have also engaged every-day Canadians. Through a survey of 1,026 Canadians, 18 years of age or older engaged we have gathered inputs around Canadians’ perspectives on the importance of environmental sustainability to travel and tourism in Canada and the future benefits that should be associated with having international visitors travel to Canada for business, study, and leisure. Notably, survey results showed that most Canadian’s view Canada’s travel and tourism industry as having an important role in building Canada’s reputation internationally. Additionally, two in three Canadians rated [environmental sustainability in travel and tourism] as important and about one quarter of those engaged said that having international visitors in Canada would provide exchange of culture, beliefs, and values as a benefit.
TIAC’s IBDS research and co-design process will conclude in March 2022. We would like to thank all of those that have contributed their experiences and perspectives through input and feedback toward renewing and reimagining TIAC’s role in international business development.