OTTAWA, ON February 4, 2019 – This week, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is leading a team of businesses and stakeholders calling on the federal government to support the $97.4 billion travel economy. On February 4th and 5th, stakeholders from across the country will engage Parliamentarians in a series of meetings highlighting public policy challenges that inhibit growth in the sector.
While Canada has experienced growth in recent years, our market share globally is not keeping pace with other countries. The UNWTO ranks Canada 17th in overall visitation globally when we had been as high as 8th in 2000. Canada’s market share of international tourism will continue to weaken without addressing key labour, access, cost competitiveness, and marketing funding issues as identified by TIAC. As Canada’s largest service export representing $21.3Billion in export revenue, $41.2B in GDP, $32B in the meetings and conventions sector alone, and employing 1.8 million Canadians, tourism’s current momentum is not sustainable without addressing public policy challenges that are preventing the sector from capitalizing on opportunities.
The recent much-needed and long overdue increase in international visitation, favourable currency exchange and federal support for international marketing through Destination Canada are all positive signs. Yet growing international arrivals buoyed by favourable exchange rates should be seen as a platform for continued improvement - not a signal that the industry is performing at ideal levels.
TIAC members believe that public policy challenges in four key areas are inhibiting growth in the sector: Labour, Access, Cost Competitiveness and Marketing Funding.
With the upcoming federal election, TIAC aims to ensure that government officials are aware of the importance of the travel economy.
“The tourism sector has gained momentum the last few years, and we want to make sure our industry is top of mind as Canada's Parliamentarians enter their last session in Ottawa before the 2019 federal election”, said TIAC President and CEO, Charlotte Bell. “Tourism jobs and businesses exist in every community and every riding in this country, providing significant economic stimulus and job-creation across all regions in Canada,” she continued.
Under the theme of “Unlocking Tourism’s Potential,” TIAC and the tourism sector are calling on the federal government to employ a whole-of-government approach to public policy and implement the following measures:
- A path to immigration for all streams and for all skill levels that include hospitality
- Immigration streams must meet labour market needs at all skill levels
- Federal funded, skill and capacity programs that prioritize tourism jobs and support underrepresented labour pools such as Indigenous youth and people with disabilities
ACCESS – VISA PROCESSING/BARRIERS TO ENTRY
- Streamline the visa process
- Bring low-risk countries under the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program
- Support pre-clearance initiatives with the U.S.
- Dedicate more resources to CATSA to facilitate security screening
- Increase Visa Application Centres to meet demands and provide easier processing of biometrics
- No additional federal fees and taxes on tourism products
- Reduce fees, levies and taxes on air travel
- Reintroduce incentives for foreign travellers through GST rebates or other means
MARKETING FUNDING TO SUPPORT TOURISM
- Increase Destination Canada annual funding to $135M
- Establish a long-term incremental funding model based on industry performance, to encourage ongoing industry innovation
TIAC invites you to join the advocacy efforts on and offline by using #TourismMatters on social media.
The TIAC led tourism team meeting with Parliamentarians this week includes:
Charlotte Bell, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)
Carol Alderice, President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) and Board Member, Provincial Territorial Tourism Industry Association of Canada (PTTIA)
Traci Bednard, Vice President, Communications and Passenger Experience, Edmonton International Airport and Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Board Member
John Dunn, President, Floor13 and Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Board Vice-Chair
Craig Foley, CEO, Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador (HNL), Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Board Member and Chair of the Board of Directors, Provincial Territorial Tourism Industry Association of Canada (PTTIA)
Clark Grue, President and CEO, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre
Keith Henry, President and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)
Nina Kressler, President and CEO Shaw Centre and Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Board Member
David McKenna, President, Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit and Chair of the Board of Directors, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)
Kevin Mouflier, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) and Board Member, Provincial Territorial Tourism Industry Association of Canada (PTTIA)
Paul Nursey, President and CEO, Destination Greater Victoria and Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Board Member
Darren Reeder, Executive Director, Banff and Lake Louise Hotel Association (BLLHA)
Heidi Welker, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Industry Partnerships., Freeman Audio Visual Canada
Lynn Wyton, Director, Strategic Business Connections, Edmonton International Airport
For more information contact:
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
Tourism Industry Association of Canada