OTTAWA — Research from Destination Canada indicates a full recovery of Canada’s travel economy by 2024, led by the continued strength of the domestic market and the quickly re-bounding U.S. market. At the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s (TIAC) annual Tourism Congress at The Westin Ottawa last week, Marc Seguin, VP, Policy and Government Affairs at TIAC emphasized to an audience of more than 400 delegates that the sector was still a very long way from a full recovery.
In its recent submission to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault, TIAC set sector goals to be achieved by 2030, which include total tourism spending in Canada at $134 billion; a total tourism labour workforce of 2.5 million and 30 million total annual international overnight visitors, among others.
Specifically, Seguin called on the government to focus re-development of the strategy to include policy changes in four key areas: attracting and retaining a sustainable tourism workforce; improving access for visitors to and within Canada; developing and promoting tourism assets; and building a re-generative and inclusive tourism industry.
“We know that there are four key areas where a host of policy actions are needed,” said Seguin. “TIAC and the member-businesses and organizations we represent are confident our proposed goals are achievable by 2030 if adequate financial resources are earmarked in support of the new (federal tourism growth) strategy… but to get us there, a number of other things need to happen.”
Among other bold ideas, Seguin recommended the creation of a Tourism Policy Council of Ministers, led Randy Boissonnault himself. “The strategy’s success rests in all tourism partners rowing in the same direction and never losing sight of our destination,” he said. “But all of the 24 federal departments and agencies now playing a role in tourism must place (these) tourism goals as a top priority. We all need to embrace and re-imagine Canada’s tourism industry.”