Air costs choking opportunity: TIAC

Canada’s outmoded aviation cost structure is choking off one of Canada’s great economic opportunities – that’s the message that Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) president and CEO David Goldstein delivered to the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communication last week. In his presentation, Goldstein reiterated the tourism industry’s call for a full review of Canada’s aviation cost structure, explaining that Canada’s high taxes and fees serve as a disincentive for both domestic and international travel to and within Canada. “Canada is a ‘fly-to’ destination,”he said. “A coherent and cost effective air transportation system is essential to our ability to grow the visitor economy and create jobs.”TIAC noted that Canadian policy on aviation has not kept pace with changes in the global economy or in worldwide travel habits. As a result, Canada’s travel deficit — the difference between what we as Canadians spend outside of the country versus what we take in — grew to $15.9 billion in 2011. TIAC also utilized the opportunity to commend the government on its support of the tourism industry in recent months. Goldstein remarked that the recent launch of the Federal Tourism Strategy, as well as several related announcements related to visitor visas and border policy, were important signs that the government sees tourism as a priority economic sector.