Canada's tourism sector is booming, bringing in record numbers of international visitors in 2017 and 2018. It's our number one service export and accounts for one in ten jobs. The Government of Canada is committed to building on this momentum and investing in tourism to create middle class jobs, grow Canada's economy, and bring new opportunities and pride to communities looking for a chance to show the world what they have.
That's why the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, today unveiled Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, which will bolster growth and diversify the sector by enhancing and developing the unique experiences that attract tourists year-round to all regions of our country.
This strategy will empower communities of all sizes through short- and long-term measures by:
- providing $58.5 million in funding through the Canadian Experiences Fund to enhance Canada's tourism products and experiences;
- changing the way we invest in tourism by developing tourism investment groups where all levels of government will collaborate to invest more efficiently while meeting local priorities and identifying ways to raise private investment; and
- creating the new Tourism Industry Economic Strategy Table to provide a platform for government and industry leaders to collaborate on overcoming sector challenges.
These three pillars will take a whole-of-government approach to addressing barriers to growth such as lack of investment coordination and labour shortages.
These measures will position the sector to meet the strategy's ambitious targets by 2025 by increasing:
- tourism revenues by 25% to $128 billion;
- jobs directly related to tourism by 7.3%, creating 54,000 new jobs in the process;
- growth in the visitor economy to outpace the growth in the national economy;
- international arrivals during the winter and shoulder seasons by over 1 million; and
- the proportion of tourism revenue generated beyond Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver, the three big cities where tourism activity is currently concentrated.
Merritt's Economic Development and Tourism Manager Will George spoke to Q101 after reviewing the new framework.
“Something that I wanted to comment on that really stood out from our side here as a local tourism organization, is the growing jobs in tourism,” said George. “So, looking at the business attraction side of things and attracting invest to and from the visitor economy. This fits quite nicely in (to our current plans), and it’s excellent to see that we have some new federal tourism funds to assist with that.”
“Having a community grant writer, this all ties together. Being able to have a dedicated person who can write grants for our community, this will just be another grant we’ll be adding to their to do list when we hire them to bring more money to Merritt and the Nicola Valley,” said George.
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