The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has applauded the Government of Canada’s decision to the lift the Mexican visa requirement as of Dec. 1.
According to officials, the reiteration of this promise shows a concrete step towards visa openness in one of Canada’s most important tourism markets.
This much anticipated announcement is widely welcomed by the tourism industry. After years of declining visits from Mexican travellers, Canada has seen a rebound of interest from this travel market. In the first quarter of 2016, visitation is up more than 25%, according to Statistics Canada. This number will only continue to grow once the visa is lifted.
“After the visa was imposed on Mexican citizens in 2009, travellers from the Mexican market dropped to levels that we have not fully recovered from,” said TIAC president Charlotte Bell. “By lifting this visa, we expect that visitation will increase by up to an additional 82,000 Mexicans a year – spending up to $122 million more at Canadian businesses.”
The introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorization program (eTA) will take the place of the visa requirement for Mexican visitors. This program is much more accessible, affordable and simple for travellers who wish to travel to Canada than the traditional visa process. It should also inform Mexican visitors about their travel eligibility before coming to Canada.
TIAC’s vocal advocacy for modernizing Canada’s visa processing system while maintaining necessary security precautions has been successful in delivering incremental improvements such as the CAN+ program, multi-year entry visas, and the eventual waiver of visa requirements for Mexican travellers.
“Investments in programs like the eTA, security infrastructure and other measures will continue to help ease the burden of travel if properly implemented, ultimately making Canada a more attractive travel destination,” said Bell. “We hope to see similar changes made to other priority travel markets in the future.”
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has also applauded the Trudeau Government’s initiative.
HAC president Tony Pollard commented, “This measure to lift the visa requirement will greatly benefit Canadian hotels particularly during the shoulder and off season.”