posted on February 3, 2020
ADVOCACY DAYS 2020 – DISCOVERING THE VISITOR ECONOMY
OTTAWA, ON February 3, 2020 – 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 $102 billion travel economy. On February 3rd and 4th, stakeholders from across the country will engage new and veteran Parliamentarians in a series of meetings highlighting public policy challenges that inhibit the sector’s growth.
Tourism is Canada’s largest service export representing 21.1M international visitors, $22.1B in international visitor spending, and employing 1.8 million Canadians. 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, a significant drop from our 8th place position in 2000. The sector’s current momentum is not sustainable without addressing key concerns.
TIAC members believe that public policy challenges in four key areas are inhibiting growth in the sector: Labour, Access, Marketing Funding, Products & Cost Competitiveness. Canada’s market share of international tourism will continue to weaken without addressing these crucial issues. With these growth opportunities in mind, TIAC aims to ensure that government officials are aware of the importance of the travel economy, its role in creating sustainable job creation and economic growth.
“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 2020”, 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 “Discovering the Visitor Economy,” 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
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.
- Biometrics introduced in a staged-in approach only once appropriate resources and strong communication campaigns are in place
- Enhancement and streamlining of Canadian Experience Fund (CEF) – increasing to $500M over 4 years
- 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
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)
- Vince Accardi, Vice-President, Stakeholder Relations and Business Development, TIAC
- David McKenna, President, Banff Jasper Collection, TIAC Board Chair
- Nina Kressler, President & CEO, Shaw Centre, TIAC Board Vice Chair
- Minto Schneider, CEO, Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation, TIAC Board Vice Chair
- Craig Foley, CEO, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, TIAC Board of Directors
- Don Cleary, President, Marriot Hotels of Canada, TIAC Board of Directors
- Teresa Ryder, Director of Business Development, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), TIAC Board of Directors
- Clark Grue, President & CEO, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre
- Beth Potter, President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)
- Carol Alderdice, President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB)
- Fitti Lourenco, Director, Government Affairs, Air Canada
- Manon Blanchet, Public Affairs Manager, Alliance de l’industrie Touristique du Québec
- Darren Reeder, Executive Director, Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association
- Heidi Welker, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Industry Partnerships, Freeman Audio Visual Canada
- Laura Pallotta, Regional Vice President Sales and Distribution, Marriot Hotels of Canada
About the Tourism Industry Association of Canada
Founded in 1930 to encourage the development of tourism in Canada, The Tourism Industry Association of Canada serves today as the national private-sector advocate for this $102 billion sector. Based in Ottawa, TIAC takes action on behalf of Canadian tourism businesses and promotes positive measures that help the industry grow and prosper.
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
Tourism Industry Association of Canada