Tourism Week 2016 : Team Canada Hits the Hill to Remove Growth Barriers
A week to celebrate Tourism’s importance as an economic sector and in 2016 there is much to celebrate. Comprising nearly 2% of GDP this $90 Billion industry is uniquely positioned as a regional economic driver from coast to coast to coast. Canada’s Tourism industry directly employs 627,000 people while a total of 1.6 million jobs are dependent on tourism.
Travel is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. In 2015 international tourism grew by 4.4% with over a billion international trips taken and generating over a trillion dollars of revenue worldwide. Canada is starting to increase our international market share and out pacing the global growth average (6.6%) for the first time in over a decade. Canada is doing very well but we can be doing much better. We need the federal government to make some policy changes that are undermining Canada’s competitiveness.
Tourism is outpacing nearly every Canadian industrial sector; demand is high, sales are up and many parts of the country are forecasting record years, so why is Tourism asking for government action when so many other sectors are in decline?
“Canada has strong momentum following significant tourism growth in 2014 and 2015. Now is the time for the government to act on the policy issues that will take Canada to the next level as a global destination of choice,” stated TIAC President and CEO Charlotte Bell. “Market conditions are ideal with strong travel intentions in key markets, favourable currency exchange rates, increased air lift and Canada’s positive media profile. By making Canada a more affordable and accessible destination, tourism has the opportunity to dramatically improve its performance and become an even greater contributor to the Canadian economy,” added Bell.
Tourism is Canada’s largest employer of youth and Canada’s largest export service sector travel generating nearly $18 in export revenue. Thirty cents of every dollar spent by international travelers in Canada goes to government revenue. Working with Destination Canada, the tourism industry has a goal of welcoming 20 million international visitors to Canada per year, spending $20 billion dollars by 2020. This goal is achievable by addressing the public policies that undermine Canada’s competitiveness as a global destination.
This week tourism industry advocates from across Canada are in Ottawa to meet with Parliamentarians to raise awareness of Tourism’s potential and to garner support for government action on a number of key initiatives.
Marketing: Canada’s tourism industry is looking to develop a new formula and performance-based model to provide long term, predictable and adequate national tourism marketing funding through Destination Canada.
Access: Canada’s tourism industry is calling on the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Canadian Transportation Act Review Panel that will lower the cost of air travel to and within Canada by reducing the fees taxes and levies imposed on the ticket-buying public.
Canada’s tourism Industry is calling on the government to simplify the visa processing system and increase the number of visa application centres in key markets such as China to make visiting Canada less arduous.
People: Canada’s tourism industry is calling on the government to undertake a number of initiatives to help provide Canadian businesses with an adequate labour supply. The initiatives include immigration, seasonal worker programs and initiatives to increase the participation rate of Canadians historically marginalized based on age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or geography.