Yesterday’s federal budget promises to improve Canada’s global competitiveness in attracting US visitors, and strengthen the travel industry’s ability to create jobs and wealth for Canadians in every region,” says Charlotte Bell, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).
The federal budget includes important measures for the Canadian travel and tourism industry, specifically a commitment to invest in TIAC’s Connecting America marketing proposal. Under the proposal, the federal government will match industry investment dollar-for-dollar to re-engage American interest in Canada as a travel destination through a Canadian Tourism Commission-led marketing campaign. The government will be consulting with industry over the coming weeks to determine the amount.
“The United States is Canada’s largest and most important tourism source market. With a recovering US economy, record high passport ownership and a favourable exchange rate, the timing is perfect for a nationally aligned marketing campaign to regain the nearly four million American visitors we have lost annually since 2001,” added Bell.
Global travel is a fiercely competitive sector where quality of experience, ease of access, and price-point define advantage. Canada’s competitiveness as a travel destination requires more than effective marketing. The brand promise can only be fulfilled through efficient and affordable access, and memorable, world-class experiences, notes Bell.
Through the Federal Tourism Strategy, TIAC is engaged with numerous federal departments and agencies to improve industry performance. The budget includes other measures to facilitate visitation including the expansion of the electronic travel authorization program to remove visa requirements from the key emerging markets of Mexico and Brazil.
The budget also commits to enhance experiential tourism through investments in Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017, as well as infrastructure investments in public transit, museums, cultural centres and historic sites.
“TIAC wishes to recognize the work of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in initiating this project as well as the support of Blake Richards, MP and Chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus and the parliamentarians and industry activists that worked diligently to support and promote these initiatives. TIAC looks forward to working with the CTC and industry partners to deliver a significant return on this investment of public trust and funds in our dynamic industry,” concluded Bell.