In a message to members, the Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) president, Tony Pollard said that he was “encouraged” by the federal government’s “recognition of tourism.”
HAC noted that Morneau indicated that, “Canada’s tourism sector is an integral part of the economy, supporting over 627,000 jobs in rural areas, small towns and big cities in every region. Increasing awareness of Canada and promoting its spectacular destinations, attractions, events and festivals to an international audience supports growth in this sector.”
The minister continued, “Canada’s national tourism marketing organization, Destination Canada, has a strong track record of working with industry partners to maximize the impact of marketing campaigns. Budget 2016 builds on this successful model by proposing to provide $50 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, to Destination Canada to seize opportunities with partners by augmenting marketing initiatives in important international markets, such as the United States and China.”
HAC pointed to a number of initiatives that included:
Canada’s 150th anniversary – the government will be supporting activities and events to celebrate Canada’s 150th in 2017, with $150 million to be spent over two years.
Infrastructure – Phase 1 of the Government’s infrastructure plan proposes to provide $11.9 billion over 5 years, starting right away. Budget 2016 puts this plan into action with an immediate down payment on this plan, including:
- $3.4 billion over three years to upgrade and improve public transit systems across Canada.
- $5.0 billion over five years for investments in water, wastewater and green infrastructure projects across Canada.
- $3.4 billion over five years for social infrastructure, including affordable housing, early learning and child care, cultural and recreational infrastructure, and community health care facilities on reserve.
National Parks, Airports, Harbours & Border Infrastructure – the budget proposes to spend another $3.4 billion over five years earmarked for national parks, harbours, airport, and border infrastructure.
National Historic Sites – The budget proposes to provide $20 million over two years to Parks Canada including historic lighthouses and railway stations.
Via Rail – The budget proposes to spend an additional $45 million for service, safety and capital improvements.
Ferry Services in Atlantic Canada – The budget proposes $73 million in new funding to support ferry services in Atlantic Canada.