Canada’s tourism industry got some good news over the weekend as the federal government announced that it has earmarked $30 million to help the country’s battered tourism industry.
Unveiled during Tourism Week, Destination Canada unveiled details of a new partnership with the provinces and territories that will deliver locally led marketing programs that will encourage Canadians to discover their own back yard.
Over the next 18 months, Destination Canada will invest $30 million with Provincial and Territorial Marketing Organizations to support the recovery of communities.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, said: “Tourism is a source of pride for communities across the country. It’s a significant economic driver and a source of local jobs. It’s also among the sectors hardest hit by this pandemic.”
Minister Joly continued: “We’re working with the sector to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and we’re working with tourism businesses as our economy reopens so tourism can come back stronger than before.”
The new initiative also anticipates that the return to travel will look different across the country – community by community including Canada’s unique and culturally vibrant Indigenous and rural communities.
Each province, at their own time, will assess the best distribution of funds, taking into account local and regional COVID-19 circumstances, infrastructure in place to safely host visitors, and the willingness of communities to welcome travellers back, among other factors. While timing and details may differ – all efforts will adopt a theme, which supports Destination Canada’s national brand – Canada. For Glowing Hearts.
Ben Cowan-Dewar, Board chair, Destination Canada, pointed out that: “Destination Canada’s work recognizes the need to support local tourism in time for summer when most businesses make the largest portion of their annual revenue.”
Cowan-Dewar continued: “Now more than ever, Destination Canada’s collaboration with industry will support a timely restart and strengthen our ability to build demand for the fall, winter and beyond.”
This initiative, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, is an important starting point to bolster local tourism demand and support businesses across the country when the time is right.
The funds are being redirected from Destination Canada’s existing international marketing program budget, as international marketing efforts are currently paused as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to provincially focused efforts – Destination Canada’s established partnerships with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), as well as other national industry partnerships with airlines, cultural organizations, RDÉE Canada (Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité), and Parks Canada, complement the overall national program. When the time is right – guided by health regulations, research, and other factors – Destination Canada will gradually evolve to national and eventually international marketing programs.