Message to the Tourism Sector from Destination Canada

Ongoing support for the Visitor Economy

We know these are difficult times within the tourism sector. We know there is a lot of uncertainty around what our world will look like next month, next week, and even tomorrow. On behalf of Destination Canada and our teams across the country and the world, we are writing to assure you that we are in this together.

Now more than ever, we will leverage the power of Team Canada to align and support us through the times ahead.


Rendez-vous Canada
Earlier today, in a joint statement between Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, we announced that with a heavy heart, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s show, which was scheduled to take place in Quebec City from May 5-8, 2020.

We cannot stress enough how much thought has been put into making this decision. Rendez-vous Canada is very much a lifeline for the Canadian tourism sector – generating leads and sales with key markets around the world, but the health, welfare and safety of our delegates is paramount.

Our decision on this was made clearer last Friday (March 13, 2020) when the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and several of his Ministers announced tightened restrictions and enhanced guidelines on international travel, border control measures, mass gatherings, among other tourism-related areas.

Although we have made the decision to cancel Rendez-vous Canada 2020, we will now look to the future. Here are a few areas under consideration:

  • We will work through the process of refunds for those registered and we will follow up with next steps and details next week.
  • As sellers and buyers are in the process of making meeting requests on MyRVC, we will look as to how we can help facilitate communication between buyers and sellers, and offer virtual appointments.
  • GoMedia Canada 2020, our annual international consumer media trade show, is scheduled to take place in Victoria, British Columbia from September 9 to 13, 2020. Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada will work to see if GoMedia Canada can be enhanced to include a modest travel trade component.

We understand there are broader implications to this decision – and again, we are committed to working through this together. Mark your calendars as Rendez-vous Canada will return next year from May 16-19, 2021 in Edmonton, Alberta.


Leisure marketing
Destination Canada will take a Team Canada approach, working with all of our tourism partners at a provincial, territorial and municipal level to enhance domestic marketing efforts – encouraging Canadians to travel within our own country.

While Destination Canada currently has a domestic campaign underway promoting winter and spring travel, we will support the industry through the vital summer season and beyond with renewed domestic marketing activity.

Furthermore, leveraging existing knowledge and partnerships in the US market – we plan to extend our efforts to key US travellers. This involves extending the spring campaign with Expedia.

For all other markets, our teams are re-evaluating efforts. While we want the Canada brand to maintain market-presence, we also want to ensure we are managing our resources and efforts efficiently.

Data and Intelligence
As part of our mandate, we are committed to sharing data and intelligence to help inform plans into the future. We are sharing information within and across the Federal family and with our provincial tourism counterparts. We are assessing how we can best ensure that vital information is more broadly accessible, and will provide updates as they become available.

Keep Exploring website
We will be updating the consumer-facing Keep Exploring website to include guidance for travellers in Canada and to Canada. This new section of the website (to follow) will provide information and links to the relevant government websites, providing travellers with a comprehensive resource for their travel questions.


*New: Industry webinar: we will host a webinar for the tourism sector at all levels later this week. Details to follow. To ensure you receive information on when this will be held, subscribe to Destination Canada News, or visit our corporate website.

Corporate website: We will enhance the information around COVID-19 posted on our corporate website regularly including links to where small to medium sized enterprises can go for support or information. Please check this page for updates.

NorthStar meetings: We will continue to have regular meetings with our NorthStar partners (our provincial, territorial and city destination marketing co-investors from across the country) on a weekly basis.

Board: We will continue to have weekly meetings with our Board of Directors.

Support the sector by sharing relevant information: If you have a network that would benefit from this information, please pass it along. If you are Provincial Marketing Organization (PMO), Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), association, or otherwise have your own channels or networks, such as newsletters, please encourage your network to subscribe to Destination Canada News, and stay tuned for information about the upcoming webinar.

Ongoing communications: Continue to share your questions with your PMO, DMO and association representatives. As we are in regular contact, they can share your questions and concerns with us.

Now, more than ever, is the time to take the Canada. For Glowing Hearts brand (Canada. Le Coeur Grand Ouvert in French) to the next level. Launched last year, it speaks to the transformational power of travel–extending both to visitors as well as the one in 10 Canadians whose livelihoods are connected to the tourism sector. Our brand is about people. And we are here with and for you.

On the message of unity, we have this to share from one industry leader:

“TIAC will continue to champion a united approach to support tourism and hospitality industry operators and workers in our sector. The Canadian travel and tourism industry has proven itself to be a strong and consistent engine of economic growth and we are committed to help the industry make it through this challenging time together and deliver on our full potential.” – Charlotte Bell, President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada

Together, we will tackle this day-by-day looking for opportunities to ensure that when this passes – and it will – we are stronger, more resilient and more successful as a sector.

Best regards,
Ben Cowan-Dewar
Chair of the Board, Destination Canada


The below are relevant and official information sources regarding COVID-19, and may impact various areas of your business.


Public Health Agency of Canada

  • General information on COVID-19
  • Travel Advisories – Canada and International
  • Informed decision-making on mass gatherings

Tourism specific

Support for Small Business

Regional Development Agency:

Business Development Bank of Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – ESDC special measures will provide one-year temporary flexibilities nationally until March 14, 2021, including:
    • Employment Insurance
    • Work Sharing program (specific cases)
    • Information on Occupational Health and Safety

Export Development Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Macroeconomic Measures

Private sector resources

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

All News