Ottawa’s New Tourism Growth Strategy to Focus on Outdoors, Indigenous Travel and Int’l Events

Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, speaking at a media conference in Niagara Falls 04JUL, 2023. Via youtube.

The Canadian government has unveiled a new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, titled "Canada 365: Welcoming the world. Every day."

With Niagara Falls in the background of a media conference, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault on 04JUL unveiled Ottawa's new plan, which the government says was developed following months of consultations with tourism businesses, industry associations, other government agencies, Indigenous partners and destination marketing organizations, among others.

The strategy is centred around five priorities:

  • investing in tourism assets,
  • promoting outdoor recreation,
  • fostering Indigenous tourism partnerships,
  • attracting international events, and
  • enhancing coordination through a federal ministerial council.

“Now is the time to come together and combine forces—across all orders of government and throughout the industry—to power the economic engine that is tourism. With the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, we will build on our strengths and propel the sector to new heights. Canada has what the world wants, and we look forward to welcoming visitors, 365 days a year, said Boissonnault during the press conference.

The Tourism Minister was joined by Vance Badawey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre; Chris Bittle, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for St. Catharines; Marsha Walden, President and CEO of Destination Canada; Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada; Keith Henry, President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada; and Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada.

Beth Potter, President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada, said “Today’s announcement caps more than a year of dialogue with key stakeholders on all facets of the tourism sector across this great country. TIAC welcomes the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy and applauds the government’s recognition that tourism is a key driver of Canada’s economy, creating close to two million jobs in large and small communities and being highly inclusive. We embrace the opportunity to continue working, hand-in-hand, with the Minister of Tourism, other Cabinet ministers and federal officials on the strategic path toward full industry recovery, growth and sustainability."

According to the statement, the tourism sector supported approximately 623,375 direct jobs and 1.9 million total jobs in 2022, contributing nearly CAD $38 billion to Canada’s GDP.

Destination Canada forecasts that tourism spending will fully recover by 2024 and international visitation will fully recover by 2026.

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