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  • This week, Dr. Jessica Ng, TIAO’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs, spoke on CBC Radio’s Afternoon Drive on how the lack of attainable housing is worsening the labour crisis in Ontario’s tourism industry, making it more difficult for tourism businesses to hire the staff they need and recover more quickly.

    For housing to be deemed affordable, a general rule of thumb is that housing costs must represent no more than 30% of pre-tax household income. However, in Ontario, 46% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing, underscoring the increasingly limited availability of affordable housing and constraints on the current housing supply in both urban and rural destinations. Limited availability of attainable housing impedes the ability of workers to live close to where they work, impacting local and regional workforce recruitment, retention, and labour dispersion to rural tourism economies. Ultimately, lack of affordable housing limits the recovery, sustainability, and growth of local tourism activity.

    In meetings with government and in our 2022 State of the Ontario Tourism Industry Report, TIAO has been advocating for attainable housing solutions, including incentivizing the development of purpose-built rentals in Ontario and requiring municipalities to not only intensify development but approve multi-unit residential buildings as part of their official plans. TIAO will continue to advocate for attainable housing solutions to support Ontario’s tourism workforce.

  • 11 May 2023 by Jessica Ng

    This week, the TIAO team delivered the inaugural IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism – ONTARIO: A Regional Event, at Queen’s University Biosciences Complex in Kingston, Ontario. In alliance with IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism - SUMMIT Victoria, the regional programming showcased thought-leaders of the tourism industry across Ontario and the globe.

    In addition to snapshots of innovation and inspiration, the conference programming included some substantive policy discussions on tourism, labour, transportation, and climate sustainability.  

    In the fireside chat with the Hon. Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, we heard about the labour crisis, rising prices facing visitors to Canada, and the ongoing efforts to ensure that tourism remains a national priority.

    In a panel on labour and sustainability, we heard about the link between paying a living wage, ethical business practices, and workforce sustainability—and the impact of the housing crisis and the rising cost of living on recruitment, retention, and workforce diversity. In the lightning talk and panel on the future of transportation in Ontario, the discussion pivoted to EV infrastructure, bus and passenger rail routes, and the role of sustainable infrastructure in attracting future economic investment. And throughout the conference, we heard about the need for a whole-of-government approach to reach net-zero and the role that tourism can and must play in advancing sustainability.  

    We thank our speakers and attendees for a productive and enlightening dialogue this week. TIAO will continue these discussions with government in our policy advocacy in the months ahead. Stay tuned for updates.  

    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

  • 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