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The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), has released the 2013 edition of the Tourism Competitive Benchmarking Study which reveals that despite having strong potential, investment in the sector is dwindling. Conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, the study uses a multi-faceted framework of analysis for comparing the performance of the tourism sector and its industries with other aspects of the Canadian economy.

“On the surface, the travel and tourism industry in Canada is key economic driver delivering positive GDP and wage growth. But this study gives us the hidden tourism story of the serious warning signs regarding our financial fundamentals such as revenues, profit margins and an alarming 30% drop in tourism investment over pre-recession levels,” says TIAC president David Goldstein.

It is not all bad news, however. The study also highlights great potential for the sector to be one of Canada’s most sustainable and profitable. The scorecard approach of the study captures the diversity of the sector and the industries within it, revealing an inherent stability allowing it to weather most economic downturns.

Travel and tourism is among the highest performing sectors of the global economy, experiencing average growth of 4% and generating over $1trillion in annual revenue. This segment of the global economy is fiercely competitive where quality of experience, ease of access and price point drives demand. Canada’s competitiveness for global market share is currently impeded by fixable public policy barriers.

“Investment is driven by the heightened demand generated through incremental growth in international arrivals to Canada. TIAC is actively engaged with the government to address the policy barriers holding the sector back. Specifically, TIAC is working towards well-funded, nationally aligned marketing initiatives in the United States, modernizing Canada’s visitor visa processes and lowering fees and taxes on aviation,” added Goldstein.

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