Nik Nanos, founder of Nanos Research brought a welcome message to those attending the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s 2021 Congress in Ottawa. That message was all about rebuilding the economy and how the travel and tourism industry can play a leading role in that rebuilding process and, in doing so, take advantage of the opportunities for growth that come along with it.
Nanos told the TIAC Congress audience that everyone recognizes that a strong tourism industry represents a direct injection of money into the country’s GDP.
And he says the industry should take advantage of this opportunity and be a leading sector in the recovery of the economy.
Said Nanos: “It’s not just about the sector. It’s about the healing and recovery from the pandemic and how Canadians can benefit from a re-energized tourism sector recovery.”
Even better, he added the industry can do it more quickly than any other sector.
In fact, Nanos pointed out that by a factor of almost 3 to 1, Canadians think that tourism contributes significantly to economic growth and 9 out of 10 Canadians recognize that international visitors coming to Canada actually create jobs here.
But says Nanos, it’s not just about creating jobs, the travel and tourism industry is also good for the Canadian brand.
He explained that a strong tourism sector has a significant role to play in building a country’s reputation.
As a result, Nanos believes that the travel and tourism sector is well positioned for a significant positive change.
It is in the right place at the right time if politicians understand that it can lead the economic recovery, he stated.
And he told the TIAC audience that along with having the support of the Minister of Tourism, the industry should also be talking to the Minister of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Health as its activities impact on each and every one of those portfolios.
“There are a lot of other things to broaden the industry narrative,” Nanos said, pointing out that along with talking about the economic and job benefits, it can also talk about the mental health benefits of travel, the investment benefits and so on.
And he advised that the industry needs to have a ‘sense of urgency’ when it is having these discussions with government. The message needs to be that ‘we need it now.’
Nanos also said that one of the things the pandemic has taught Canadians is the importance of their family and friends and it has made them reflect on the importance of material possessions.
“People are saving for experiences and travel is one of the things that they’re saving for,” Nanos said.