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  • 23 Feb 2023 by Sapphire Supersad

    Originally announced at OTS21, under the title “Game On B.C”, the Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario project has the goal of making Ontario the most sustainable province in Canada. Through TIAOs partnership with GreenStep Solutions, this project intends to progress sustainability across the province and provide support along the way, guiding tourism organizations and destinations on their regenerative and sustainable tourism journey.   

    The term “sustainability” often suggests the images of the environment and climate change, remaining within a narrow scope of issues and solutions, versus what sustainability truly means and its significance beyond these areas. Sustainability, while highly involved and important to environmental issues, extends into social and economic concerns businesses and destinations may be facing. Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario looks at sustainability holistically, incorporating it into management, social, economic and cultural aspects for a business or destination.  

    Having a personal interest in learning the correlation and interconnectivity of social, economic and environmental dimensions, as well as an eagerness to support destination and community development, this project encapsulates why I was thrilled to join TIAO and where I see my ideal career in the tourism industry; championing the advancement of businesses and destinations within their own organization or region and beyond.  

    Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario supports the enhancement of businesses and destinations with a step-by-step process of assessing their strengths and areas for improvement, setting clear goals and actions, tracking their progress, certifying their achievements, and striving for continuous improvement. This project complements the work organizations and destinations have already done, acknowledging their efforts and pleasantly surprising them that they may have done more in the realm of sustainability than they initially thought.  

    Having the incredible opportunity to attend the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference in Victoria, B.C, I have continued to witness that every business and destination is at a unique point in their sustainability journey – some are leading examples, while others don’t know where to begin and are looking for guidance. No matter where a business or destination is on its path to sustainable tourism, there are always opportunities to learn more and progress. Together with the sustainable tourism experts at GreenStep, I am looking forward to supporting and encouraging their efforts toward a regenerative and sustainable future.  

  • 16 Feb 2023 by Jessica Ng

    With spring just around the corner, the provincial and federal governments are in the process of writing their 2023 budgets, set to be released in the coming weeks and months. But while other sectors have moved forward along with the rest of Ontario and Canada, tourism’s recovery remains slow and uneven. Tourism businesses are still dealing with the lasting impacts of unprecedented revenue losses, six-figure debts, and the displacement of tourism workers to other industries—along with new challenges like supply chain disruptions, inflation, and rising taxes. Sectors and regions dependent on cross-border visitation are still struggling and according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, only 16% of businesses are confident in the outlook of Ontario’s economy in 2023.  

    As provincial and federal policymakers are looking to define their economic priorities for the coming fiscal year, it is critical that we keep the pressure on both levels of government to bring the focus back on tourism. That’s why I presented this week at the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at Queen’s Park: to advocate for the inclusion of tourism investments in the Province’s 2023 budget. This was an important opportunity to remind the provincial government of the slow pace of tourism recovery, the challenges tourism operators are still facing—and, importantly, the opportunities that lie ahead for Ontario’s economy if we get our recovery right.  

    In my presentation (which you can view here) and Q&A, I emphasized the regional disparities in recovery; the labour gaps hindering recovery and growth; the need for destination marketing investments to attract business, cultural, and sporting events back to Ontario; the need for transportation infrastructure that increases regional connectivity; and promising areas for future tourism growth and investment, including agri-tourism, sustainable tourism, and Indigenous tourism.

    We need a tourism growth strategy that enables our industry to fully recover, grow, remain domestically and globally competitive, and become resilient. To that end, I called on the provincial government to consult on and release a comprehensive tourism growth strategy for Ontario by the third quarter of 2023, highlighting our State of the Ontario Tourism Industry Report as a foundation for such a strategy.

    Last week, we made a similar appeal to the federal government in our letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. As part of a wider campaign led by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, we called on the Prime Minister, the Minister of Tourism, and the Minister of Finance to ensure that the incoming federal tourism growth strategy is actionable and best positions our industry to rebuild, prosper, and unleash its full potential. We asked TIAO members to join us in our advocacy by sending a pre-written letter to their local MP. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to send your own letter—click here to see how.  

    As always, thank you for your continued support. And of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email at



    Jessica Ng
    Director, Policy & Government Affairs




  • 09 Feb 2023 by Jessica Ng

    While economic recovery is underway, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a severe and enduring impact on Ontario’s tourism industry. Border closures, capacity restrictions, and lockdowns exacerbated structural issues that have left the industry far from recovery. Tourism businesses are still recovering from the lasting impact of revenue losses, mounting debt, an acute labour crisis, and new challenges including supply chain disruptions, inflation, and reduced commercial insurance coverage. Moreover, not all visitor markets and regions are rebuilding at the same pace, and business confidence has dropped to a new low: according to the Ontario Economic Report, only 16% of organizations expressed confidence in the outlook of Ontario’s economy in 2023.

    Meanwhile, our global competitors are already moving forward, along with the rest of Ontario and Canada. At this precarious moment in our recovery, we need a national tourism growth strategy that best positions our industry to rebuild, prosper, and unleash its full potential. We can’t be left behind.  That’s why, in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, we're sending a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau—to bring federal focus back onto the Tourism Growth Strategy and how it should support tourism recovery. 

    To amplify our efforts, we need your help. We’re asking members to send a letter to their local MP in support of our joint campaign, calling on the federal government to ensure that our tourism industry remains one of the most competitive and successful in the world.


    Jessica Ng
    Director, Policy & Government Affairs

    We need your support! Join us in advocating for the future success of the tourism industry by sending a letter to your MP. TIAO has made it easy to send your pre-written letter to your Member of Parliament. Read below to see how!

    How do I send a letter to my MP? 3 Easy Steps

    Step One: Find out the contact information of your MP – go to the Current Members of the Parliament List. To find your MP, enter your postal code. You can also call 1-800-677-8683, TTY: 1-888-292-2312. You can also see the list of Ontario MPs' contact information on TIAO's website.

    Step Two:

    1. Click here to download TIAO's pre-written member letter to your MP. Read through, and make sure to fill out the highlighted sections;
      • Name of your MP
      • Date of the letter
      • Your name
      • Your company logo (if applicable)
    2. You're ready to email your letter to your MP! Click here to use our pre-written email to make it easier to send your letter. Make sure to double check your MP's email address before emailing!

    Step Three: You did it! Pat yourself on the back because you just helped support the future of the tourism industry in Ontario.







  • 02 Feb 2023 by Jessica Ng

    This week, the TIAO team was at the Ontario Tourism Town Hall, an industry-wide event delivered by our colleagues at TIAC. This was a great opportunity to share ideas on innovation and sustainability, hear about TIAC’s latest advocacy initiatives, discuss national and regional tourism issues, and reconnect with tourism colleagues.  

    We heard from Indigenous Tourism Ontario and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada about best practices, recent developments in, and the recovery of Indigenous tourism. We got an inside look at Ottawa Tourism’s destination stewardship and marketing strategies; a sneak peak at emerging digital tools for SME business and product development; Tourism HR Canada’s pan-Canadian programs to address recruitment, retention, and skills gap challenges; recovery projections and strategic planning shifts at Destination Canada; and a snapshot of TIAC’s federal tourism growth strategy targets, including in tourism spending, workforce, visitation, and building a regenerative and inclusive tourism industry.

    And in the Q&A portion, TIAC, ITAC, and Destination Canada engaged in a lively exchange of ideas with Ontario tourism leaders and stakeholders. Guided by live questions, the panel discussed tourism’s resilience projections for 2023, the appeal of tourism and hospitality careers for young jobseekers, government funding models for workforce training programs, and commercial insurance.

    Presentations from the Ontario Tourism Town Hall will be available to view on TIAC’s website, so stay tuned.  

    As always, thank you for your continued support. And of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email at


    Jessica Ng
    Director, Policy & Government Affairs