Open for Business: The tourism industry applauds the Trudeau government's move to lift Mexican visa requirements
OTTAWA, ON June 28, 2016 - The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) applauds the Government of Canada's announcement committing to the lifting of the Mexican visa requirement as of December 1st, 2016. The reiteration of this promise shows a concrete step towards visa openness in one of our most important tourism markets.
This much anticipated announcement is widely welcomed by the tourism industry. After years of declining visits from Mexican travellers, we have seen a rebound of interest from this important travel market. In the first quarter of 2016, visitation is up more than 25% according to Statistics Canada. This number will only continue to grow when the visa is lifted.
"After the visa was imposed on Mexican citizens in 2009, travellers from the Mexican market dropped to levels that we have not fully recovered from," states Charlotte Bell, TIAC President & CEO. "By lifting this visa, we expect that visitation will increase by up to an additional 82,000 Mexicans a year - spending up to $122 million more at Canadian businesses".
The introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorization program (eTA) will take the place of the visa requirement for Mexican visitors. This program is much more accessible, affordable, and simple for travellers who wish to travel to Canada than the traditional visa process. It should also inform Mexican visitors about their travel eligibility before coming to Canada.
TIAC's vocal advocacy for modernizing Canada's visa processing system while maintaining necessary security precautions has been successful in delivering incremental improvements such as the CAN+ program, multi-year entry visas, and the eventual waiver of visa requirements for Mexican travellers.
"Investments in programs like the eTA, security infrastructure and other measures will continue to help ease the burden of travel if properly implemented, ultimately making Canada a more attractive travel destination," claims Ms. Bell. "We hope to see similar changes made to other priority travel markets in the future."
For more information please contact:
Vice President, Public and Industry Affairs
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
About the Tourism Industry Association of Canada
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada is the only national organization representing the full cross-section of Canada's $90 billion tourism industry. TIAC's members include air and passenger rail services, airport authorities, local and provincial destination authorities, hotels, attractions and tour operators.