One of TIAC’s recommendations in its 2019 pre-budget submission called for a “whole of government approach” to tourism. But what does that mean for TIAC members and Canada’s tourism industry?
The overarching theme of a 2017 conference hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) attended by TIAC’s President and CEO called for governments around the world to adopt a whole-of-government approach in establishing tourism policy. A key takeaway from the conference can be summarized by Portugal’s Tourism Minister who declared that in her country, “every minister is the Minister of Tourism” meaning, policy and regulatory decisions are considered carefully in how they might impact the tourism industry due to its vital importance to the country’s economy.
Here in Canada, the tourism industry also contributes substantially to the country’s economy and employment. As such, tourism should no longer be thought of as the responsibility of a single department or ministry, but as a collective effort involving many government departments working together towards the success of the New Tourism Vision.
Tourism is one of Canada’s major economic drivers and must remain top-of-mind when developing Canada’s broader policy agenda. Various legislation around immigration, employment, taxes, the environment, border security and others can have significant ramifications for the tourism industry and these should be carefully considered through a collaborative approach that is more likely to have a positive impact on Canada’s tourism growth and competitiveness.
As the federal Cabinet prepares for its annual retreat in the next week to discuss priorities for the next year, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau made the following statement in a recent press release:
“I look forward to meeting with our new Cabinet in beautiful Nanaimo, British Columbia. Nanaimo is a gateway to Canada’s markets and a tourist destination known around the world. It is a perfect setting to discuss how we can promote Canadian exports, , and diversify our trading partnerships, to continue making life better for people from Nanaimo to Corner Brook.”
—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
TIAC is delighted to see tourism expansion on the Prime Minister’s agenda for this important Cabinet meeting. As whole-of-government begins at the top, we are hopeful that the Prime Minister’s message may signal the beginning of better collaboration between federal departments in establishing policies that impact our sector.
As we enter the last year of this government’s official mandate before an expected election in Fall 2019, now is the time to engage all political parties in a discussion about our future. TIAC is putting the final touches on a questionnaire that will be distributed to all major political parties seeking concrete answers on how each party intends to deal with issues related to tourism and how their policies might stimulate growth and sustainability for the long-term.
In the meantime, TIAC’s ongoing advocacy work continues to promote improved cooperation amongst government departments and setting industry issues on decision maker’s agendas. As Parliament will soon resume activities in Ottawa after the Summer break, we are planning our next series of Parliamentary Tourism Caucus meetings on the Hill to discuss our priorities with MPs from all political parties.
Now that the Summer tourism season is coming to an end, we will soon be reaching out to our members asking for your support in communicating with your local MPs to ensure they know why #tourism matters. Let’s make our collective voices heard!
Stay tuned for updates!