OTTAWA — Canada was once a top destination that attracted guests to live, work and play, but today’s taxes and regulatory actions have contributed to a falling tourism status and, according to a new study by the National Travel and Tourism Coalition (NTTC), it will only get worse unless something is done immediately.
“Since 2002, Canada has slipped from the eighth most-visited destination in the world to the 15th,” said David Goldstein, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). “If we are to compete globally and regain our position as a top 10 destination in the world, the policy-based impediments that have been built in to our sector need to be addressed.”
The NTTC’s analysis, Looking to 2020 – The Future of Travel and Tourism in Canada, also contains policy recommendations for economic growth and export development, including creating a fair taxation regime and level playing field with the United States, building policies that enhance global competitiveness and establishing access to a sufficiently large and skilled labour force.
The study noted the burden to the fledging airline industry and the ramifications to the country’s workforce. “Our sector needs an adequately sized workforce if we are to succeed and compete,” said Anthony Pollard, Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) president and CEO. “We need to ensure Canada’s immigration policy and programs, that help provide us with a sufficient pool of workers and help to train them, remain[s] available going forward.”
The NTTC is comprised of industry associations within the travel and tourism industry in North America, including: HAC, TIAC, the Canadian Airports Council, the International Air Transport Association and the National Airlines Council of Canada.