Potential Japan free trade deal a boon for tourism

A potential free-trade agreement between Canada and Japan would augment business and leisure travel between the two countries and drive economic growth, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). Prime Minister Harper announced earlier today that his government intends to formally enter into free-trade negotiations with the Japanese government led by his counterpart, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. “A free-trade agreement with Japan would be a boon for Canada’s tourism industry, as recent studies show international travel and bilateral trade to be linked inextricably,”said TIAC president David Goldstein. “Not only does business travel stimulate the visitor economy, but overseas travellers are also known to stay longer and spend more in Canada as they complement their visits with personal leisure activities and travel.”Like many of Canada’s export sectors, Japan is an important market for the tourism industry, and regularly ranks among in the country top 10 sources of international visitors. Goldstein also noted that an impending agreement provides the impetus to discuss a more liberalized air access agreement with Japan. “A more liberalised air access agreement between Canada and Japan will be essential if we are to capitalize on the significant economic opportunity that exists within a free-trade agreement with Japan,”said Goldstein. “An expanded open skies agreement would effectively provide us with greater opportunities to deliver more Japanese travellers to more Canadian destinations.”(http://www.tiac.travel)

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