At the Tourism Town Hall on June 19, the industry heard that tourism is one of the most promising sectors of the global economy, growing by about 5% annually.
However, the Canadian tourism industry has grown by only 1.5% – in part because of the drop in U.S. travellers following the 2008 economic downturn.
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) feels now is the time for Canada to seize its fair share of that 5% global growth. At the Tourism Town Hall, CEO David Goldstein presented some compelling statistics illustrating what 5% growth in Canadian tourism would mean to the national economy:
- $4.5 billion more export revenue
- $80.4 million in additional federal revenue
- 4,538 more jobs – including 2,269 for youth
- $180 million in hotel room spending
- $613 million more in overall spending
- 2,700 more flights
David added that the benefits would extend far beyond the tourism industry. “International visits are often a first step toward any type of trade and investment,” he said. “Nobody invests in a country they haven’t visited.”
TIAC recently released a report examining the challenges of getting to 5% and spurring on Canadian hotel investment. David said Canada must address barriers in four key aspects of the industry: marketing, access, product and people.