JOINT STATEMENT BY TOURISM INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA AND MEETINGS MEAN BUSINESS CANADA ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’S VISIT TO CANADA
OTTAWA, March 24, 2023 – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) welcome the President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to Canada. We also take this opportunity to highlight the close relationship our countries have long maintained with regard to leisure and business tourism.
US visitors are vitally important to Canada’s travel economy. In 2022, a total of 14 million US residents entered Canada, just 56% of the level of 25 million in 2019. Not surprisingly, around 80% of all foreign travellers to Canada come from the US*.
Tourism in Canada has long been an important driver for the economy overall, generating more than $105 billion in spending annually pre-pandemic and sustaining close to two million total jobs. Prior to COVID-19, one in 10 workers in Canada had a job in tourism and the sector accounted for 2% of Canada’s total GDP.
More than its economic might, tourism also fosters social cohesion and is a prime vehicle for promoting Canada’s ideals as a country on the world stage. MMBC’s key focus and mission is to communicate the important social and economic impact of the business events sector, mirroring similar initiatives of its US counterpart. This sector, which includes conferences, conventions, trade shows, symposiums, and other business gatherings, is a very significant part of the joint travel economies, and in Canada represented $41 billion in spending pre-pandemic (or about 40% of all tourism spending) and supported hundreds of thousands of jobs. Equally important are the social impact that meetings and business events bring to communities across the country and the capacity of the sector to help attract direct foreign investment.
However, the number of international business events that took place in Canada in 2022 was only at 55% of pre-pandemic levels. And the future booking pace five years out is now only at 47%. Due to a number of factors, including the long planning cycle for such events, it is expected that this important sector will be the very last of all tourism sectors in Canada to recover.
TIAC and MMBC encourage Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden to work collaboratively to help strengthen even further our bilateral relationship in tourism.
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*Statistics Canada. Table 24-10-0050-01, Non-resident visitors entering Canada, by country of residence.
Director, Communications & Media Relations
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
t: 613-238-7887 ext. 8765