On behalf of the thousands of tourism operators it represents from coast to coast to coast, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) takes this opportunity to express its deepest appreciation for the Government’s support through the pandemic and to emphasize the travel economy’s high potential to support its important goals well into the future.
The Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, is holding a Cabinet retreat in Hamilton, Ontario, until January 25, 2023, to focus on the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to make life more affordable and build an economy that works for all Canadians.
Canada’s tourism sector has long been an important driver for Canada’s economy, 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 to promote Canada’s ideals as a country on the world stage.
Having survived the deepest hardship of the pandemic with support from all levels of government, and eagerly awaiting the new federal Tourism Growth Strategy expected this spring, the tourism sector is now focused on building forward and improving its international competitiveness.
We still have a long way to go to reclaim our position as the economic powerhouse we once were.
In TIAC’s submission to the Tourism Growth Strategy consultations, we outlined key priorities and recommendations to best position tourism for growth. The priority areas are: i) attracting and retaining a sustainable tourism workforce, ii) improving access for visitors to and within Canada, iii) developing and promoting tourism assets, and iv) building a regenerative and inclusive tourism industry. Concerted action is needed in each of these key areas.
The tourism sector is confident it can achieve its goals to build forward, boost its international competitiveness, and more robustly contribute to building an economy that works for all Canadians if a comprehensive Tourism Growth Strategy is put in place and adequate resources are allocated in support of that new Strategy. We are thus calling on the Federal Cabinet to make tourism in Canada a key policy and budget priority.