When the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) held its in-person 2021 Congress in Ottawa last week it was like a family gathering. Perhaps a touch bittersweet — considering all of the events that have taken place since the last one — but still a celebration of the Canadian travel and tourism industry resilience in the face of adversity.
In a moving moment, the association remembered Charlotte Bell, who passed away in December 2020; recognizing her not only for her ‘astute leadership in steering the industry through the storm,’ but as the kind and caring person that she was.
That remembrance was fittingly marked by Bell’s induction into TIAC’s Tourism Hall of Fame.
With the industry swept up in the unfolding events of the global pandemic, TIAC’s new president and CEO, Beth Potter reminded the sold-out, in-person audience attending the event that January 2021 had marked the 90th anniversary of the organization and that since its founding in 1931, it had experienced a whole range of challenges that threatened the industry.
But, said Potter: “We will find our way back to better times. The industry has pulled together and I know we will rebuild our industry and it will take a lot less time than 10 years.”
In fact, TIAC’s president and CEO told her audience that the industry will get back to 2019 revenues by the end of 2025 and grow again in 2026, observing that the industry has “seen hard times before, but I know we’ll find our way to recovery … together we are stronger and this approach should not change.”
And Potter added: “There’s a lot of work to do, but we will be celebrating our success in 2026 and we’ll have a hell of a birthday party for TIAC’s 96th anniversary.”
Watch for more on TIAC’s 2021 Congress in the next issue of Travel Courier.