The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is vowing that it will continue to work energetically on behalf of this country’s tourism trade, regardless of the course that the coronavirus pandemic takes.
TIAC’s David McKenna said during the Nov. 17 opening of the 2020 TIAC Tourism Congress that this year has been one of collaboration for those involved in tourism as they work together to offset the crippling effects of the pandemic.
Some 1.8 million tourism industry jobs were put at risk as travel plummeted in the spring, prompting TIAC to lobby for government assistance on behalf of those in tourism.
“We will continue to work on behalf of our sector to be ready and stronger than ever before,” McKenna said.
The congress, which ends this afternoon, is being done virtually this year.
McKenna praised tourism industry resilience, but warned that the hard-hit sector needs more government support.
TIAC actually had high hopes for 2020, with 2019 seeing Canada host 22.1 million visitors, a record number.
This year began strongly as well but then coronavirus sent tourism into a tailspin. McKenna said some of those in travel “pivoted quickly” at the start of the pandemic but others weren’t able to.
McKenna said TIAC’s efforts on behalf of the industry are made possible because of support it gets from its members.
Meanwhile, federal tourism minister Melanie Joly told the congress those working to rebuild this country’s tourism trade need to initially “focus our efforts on domestic tourists.”