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Gateway to Growth | Aiming High: Air Access to Canada

posted on November 7, 2013

TIAC Report Identifies Keys to Maximize Impact of Canada's Trade and Aviation Deals 

OTTAWA, November 7, 2013 - Today the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) released Gateway to Growth: Aiming High - Air Access to Canada. This report qualifies the impact of Canada's air service agreement policies on Canada's travel and tourism industry.  

Canada has made tremendous progress in recent years establishing aviation service agreements and free trade treaties with dozens of countries across the globe. Most notably being the Canada Europe Trade Agreement signed only weeks ago. But for some competitiveness barriers in aviation policy, Canada has the capacity to maximize the economic benefits from trade liberalization.

"It is well established that travel drives trade. With both free trade and aviation liberalization agreements in place with Europe, we need to turn our focus to maximizing air lift out of Europe into Canadian airports. If Canada's aviation taxes and fees were lower we could be a true aviation hub between Europe and the Americas," stated TIAC President and CEO David Goldstein.

In today's report,TIAC recommends a three-pronged approach, consistent with the Federal Tourism Strategy, to address the aviation policy challenges currently impeding Canada's competitiveness:

  • Cost Structure: Even with a liberal air access agreement, Canada's prohibitively expensive aviation fees, taxes and levies continue to inhibit international competition;  
  • Facilitation: As Canada generates additional demand among foreign visitors, passenger facilitation must be modernized and simplified to ensure capacity and efficiency. Passenger volumes through Canada sustain flights for visitors to Canada. Programs such as Transit Without Visa (TWV) must be a priority to stimulate incremental flights and increase global market share;  
  • Air Service Agreements: Canada needs to continue on its path of liberalized air access agreements from a business to business perspective

Travel and tourism is among the highest performing sectors of the global economy, experiencing average growth of 4% and generating over $1trillion of annual revenue. This segment of the global economy is fiercely competitive where quality of experience, ease of access and price point drives demand. Canada's expensive aviation fees, taxes and levies are pricing us out of the market place.

Gateway to Growth: Aiming High - Air Access to Canada is the second in a series of research reports to increase awareness of the complexity of the global travel and tourism sector and to identify practical measures that will increase competitiveness and produce real and sustainable economic development, jobs and prosperity for Canadians.

Read the full report here.