Tourism week organized by our national partners, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), is a special time when we celebrate our incredible industry from coast to coast to coast. This week, I was in Ottawa to join industry colleagues as we joined Federal Minister of Tourism, Randy Boissonnault, to kick off tourism week with this year's theme chosen as CANADA: Powered by Tourism.
A theme chosen to reflect the multi-faceted role that tourism plays in the lives of all Canadians. Up and down the country, especially in Ontario, our industry isn’t simply an essential part of our economies, but an integral part of our society, culture, and our window to the world.
Most observers now estimate we’re at approximately 75 - 80% of pre-pandemic spending. Undoubtedly, thanks to your hard work, we’re bouncing back from one of the most difficult periods for the tourism industry.
So, as we celebrate our industry and those that work within it. The work of advocating for our industry, whether it be for the sole proprietor, the small family business, or internationally renowned businesses continues at a pace on the following critical files:
- We still await the Federal Government’s Tourism Growth Strategy, a critical document that will showcase the government’s commitment to provide the most conducive environment for the tourism industry to grow.
- We’re in dialogue with Ontario’s regional development agencies to ensure that monies promised for the tourism industry in the Federal Budget are efficiently and effectively distributed within Ontario.
- Our debt research study in partnership with TIAC and Nanos research is in its final phase as we continue to fight for meaningful debt relief for tourism businesses.
- TIAO is leading an industry working group on the MAT Tax to ensure that the tourism industry has equitable access to revenues created by our industry.
- TIAO is set to host a series of roundtables and put forward recommendations to reform the tax system to incentive investment and expansion. This is in response to the Ontario government’s planned consultation on the tax system announced in the provincial budget.
- TIAO continues to fight for a provincial strategy and accompanying investment to ensure that Ontario ‘s tourism industry can credibly compete with our domestic and international competitors in attracting visitors, business events, conferences, trade shows, and sporting and cultural events to Ontario.
On behalf of the entire TIAO team, I would like to thank every TIAO member and partner for your continued support in aiding our advocacy work. As ever, if you have any questions or would like to raise a specific issue with the TIAO team, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.
In the meantime, don’t forget to keep an eye out for our complimentary Forward Motion sessions and Building Inclusive Tourism webinar series that continue to offer to provide thoughtful conversations and useful resources on key issues.
President & CEO