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Frequently Asked Questions: TIAC and Membership

1. What/Who is TIAC?

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is the national advocacy organization lobbying in Ottawa on behalf of Canada’s travel and tourism sector.

TIAC is a not-for-profit, industry led, membership driven organization.

2. My business is relatively stable. Why should I join when things are going just fine?

Doing fine might be great for today, but the domestic market is at or near a point of saturation. Ten years ago, Canadian customers made up only 65% of tourism spending, with the rest coming from international visitors. Today, domestic consumers make up 80% of tourism spending. Future growth in domestic tourism spending will only come from a sudden spike in the population or by boosting market share from the competition. Given the alternatives, the smartest and most affordable means of achieving growth is to pursue a growth in international visitors.

3. Why does TIAC focus on international visitors rather than domestic?

Domestic travellers make up the bulk of tourism receipts, but this market is saturated. The growth potential from within Canada is limited by stiff competition and a relatively sparse population. Conversely, international tourism markets show the greatest growth potential over the next decade. It makes smart business sense to pursue international visitors who stay longer and spend more money than domestic tourists and where there is a legitimate growth opportunity.

4. What’s the problem?

Despite strong interest in coming to Canada, the perception is that Canada is too expensive to visit and too difficult to get to. Legacy policy decisions are preventing us from competing legitimately for our share of global tourism dollars. Canada has lost nearly 4 million international visitors since 2002 and we’re in danger of dropping out of the top 20 in international arrivals in the next two years from our 7th place rank in 2002.

5. Why doesn’t the government just fix the problem?

First, the value of the tourism industry has never been recognized on the federal level and second politicians do not necessarily understand that decisions made at the Federal level have negative impacts on the industry. Nobody is acting against us, but the political landscape in Ottawa is a competitive one, with countless other special interest groups vying for the government’s attention. Oftentimes irritants can’t be fixed at the flick of a light switch. As an industry, we have to make a compelling case.

6. Why do we need an organization like TIAC?

TIAC provides the context and focus to address the tourism sector’s most pressing needs. A national, cross-sectorial organization like TIAC helps us harness our diversity and align our voices around a common vision to secure meaningful public policy changes.

7. Why would the government listen to us?

As individual operators “asks” are fragmented and “efforts” unsystematic. As a collective, our cohesiveness highlights the problem, ensures repetition of a consistent message and creates resonance. Not only does a strong membership base from ridings across the country highlight the economic importance of the sector, but it personifies the issue to remind decision-makers that tourism jobs are tourism voters.

8. So what does TIAC do?

Making the case for change often requires sustained pressure over time. TIAC makes the case for change by:

  • Drawing attention to industry concerns and proposing actionable solutions
  • Stimulating public debate about the relationship between government and private business in the tourism industry
  • Gaining support for our sector’s positions and creating a sense of urgency around them through our earned media strategy
  • Working with other like-minded organizations to generate momentum and give credibility and weight to our concerns
  • Monitoring and generating industry research, trends and statistics to give credence to our positions

TIAC also makes it a priority to interact with its members, ensuring that TIAC is relevant, representative and generates value for your investment.

9. What do I get for my membership (tangible member benefits)?

In addition to being part of the collective voice of tourism and supporting TIAC’s key strategic focus on advocacy, the association also offers members access to partnership opportunities and significant savings at industry events such as Rendez-vous Canada and the Tourism Congress and Canadian Tourism Awards. TIAC members can expect to save from $400 to $1,600 on RVC Booths and more than $200 on Tourism Congress Registration.

In addition, members enjoy savings through our growing list of supplier partners.