Responding to yesterday\’s (Oct. 16, 2013) Speech from the Throne and the governments intention to \”promote Canada as a top destination for tourism,\” Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) president and CEO, David Goldstein said that, \”Today reaffirms the government\’s commitment to growing Canada\’s travel economy. TIAC and our industry partners look forward to working with the government, through the Federal Tourism Strategy, to address the fixable public policy issues currently impeding growth.\”

TIAC, in its statement, points out that travel and tourism is an $81.7 billion industry in Canada, comprised of over 157,000 businesses, employing over 614 600 people in every region of the country. Canada has grown over reliant on domestic travel, comprising 80% of total revenues compared to 65% a decade ago. Over that same time Canada\’s international arrivals have dropped by nearly 2% – far below the global average growth rate of 4%.

Goldstein noted, \”Growth requires increased international visitation. A re-engagement in the US leisure market alone will drive an estimated $1.5B in incremental tourism revenue, overá2.5M incremental visitors and sustain an additional 6,000 Canadian jobs over three years. This added demand is the impetus for investments in hotel real estate, product innovation, infrastructure renewal, additional flights and airlines to Canada and overall increased competition. All factors that drive real and sustainable economic development, jobs and prosperity for Canadians.\”

And he concluded, \”The global travel and tourism market is fiercely competitive where quality experiences, ease of access and price point drive demand. In order to increase international arrivals to Canada from traditional markets and emerging markets like India, Brazil and China we have quite a bit of work to do to modernize travel documentation and lower Canada\’s e aviation cost structure. The language in today\’s Throne Speech is quite encouraging, and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.\”

Right now, TIAC is leading a delegation of travel and tourism businesses from across Canada to Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo, China. The trade mission was officially launched in Shanghai [on Oct. 13] by foreign affairs minister John Baird who identified travel and tourism as an important economic sector and a conduit of driving international investment and trade.

The TIAC delegation will be meeting with Chinese government and travel industry representatives and attending the Canadian Tourism Commission\’s \”Showcase Asia\” trade show which brings tourism buyers from India, Japan, Korea and China to meet with over 85 Canadian tourism companies.
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