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  • 27 Apr 2023 by Chris Bloore

    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.

    Chris Bloore
    President & CEO

  • TIAO attended the inaugural #USCanadaSummit, representing Ontario’s tourism industry in as a key priority for both US & Canada. 

    Thank you EurasiaGroup and BMO for bringing together leaders from both sides of the border to discuss economic growth, and making room for important conversations.



  • 06 Apr 2023 by Sapphire Supersad

    As a sacred month for Muslims of the Islamic faith, being aware of Ramadan practices and how they may affect employees in the workplace and during work hours is important to building an inclusive and supportive work environment. 

    As a Muslim, I was excited to share with my TIAO teammates what Ramadan is and why it’s significant, as it’s a special time for Muslims to spiritually grow closer to Allah (name of God in Islam) and seek forgiveness, with fasting (Sawm) from sunrise to sunset every day in this Islamic month, as well as partaking in additional prayers (Taraweeh) and charity (Zakat). I was happy to know my teammates were interested in learning about a topic that is very important to me and appreciated being given a platform to discuss it.  I prepared a Ramadan Crash Course for my team to talk about this important month, which can be viewed here for more information.

    While employers don’t need to become experts on the subject, understanding what Ramadan is and how it’s observed is a great place to start learning. Opening the line of communication is also an opportunity to gain insight for your specific team; inviting your Muslim employees to share about Ramadan and what ways you and your team can support them demonstrates open-mindedness and respect. I highly encourage employers and employees alike to learn more about Ramadan and other religious practices, as knowledge and education are crucial o navigating an increasingly diverse workplace.