It’s Tourism Week (May 26 – June 2), and a celebration of Canada’s $102 billion industry as an economic driver and important job creator.
As tourism businesses across Canada come together to mark these achievements, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) recognizes the federal government’s new tourism growth strategy, Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy as a positive step forward.
For years, TIAC has been calling for a multifaceted strategy that embraces the significant contributions the tourism sector makes in Canada: ranging from accounting for 2% of GDP, to representing 20% of all service export revenues – making tourism Canada’s largest service export.
Last year, Canada welcomed more than 21 million international visitors – a little over half of Canada’s population. While that number may sound impressive, and is indeed increasing on an annual basis, Canada has fallen behind our international counterparts when it comes to the pace of tourism growth.
The new strategy includes aggressive growth targets for Canada to meet by 2025: 54,000 new tourism and travel sector jobs, an increase of revenue by 25% to $128 billion, and a concerted push to increase international tourist arrivals in the winter and shoulder seasons by over a million, among others.
This strategy also presents an opportunity for Canada to tap into the full potential of our tourism sector as a major driver of communities across the country, particularly small and rural communities where over half of tourism jobs are based.
“For the tourism and travel industry, this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time than leading into Canada’s Tourism Week,” said TIAC president Charlotte Bell. “What better way to ring in a celebration of Canada’s tourism industry than by acknowledging the monumental contributions we have made and will continue to make through the building and strengthening of Canada’s international brand?”
To help tourism stakeholders across the country get the word out about Tourism Week, TIAC has released an online toolkit available for download at https://tiac-aitc.ca/About_Tourism_Week.html.