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Archived - Minister of State Bernier Launches New Tourism Strategy to Strengthen Canada's Tourism Advantage

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Ottawa, October 6, 2011 — Today, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), launched Canada's Federal Tourism Strategy to help position Canada's tourism sector for long-term growth and global competitiveness. The Strategy will improve coordination among the numerous federal partners that support the visitor economy, significantly expanding Canada's tourism advantage.

"Canada continues to build on its success of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the granting of Approved Destination Status by China and our recent designation as the number one country in the world by FutureBrand's 2010 Country Brand Index," said Minister of State Bernier. "The Federal Tourism Strategy provides the scope and direction to help industry take advantage of this growth opportunity, increase tourism revenues and create jobs in all regions of Canada."

The Federal Tourism Strategy formalizes a whole-of-government initiative that will better align the tourism activities of some 15 federal departments and agencies. It is a long-term strategy to bring greater coherence to the policies and programs that support tourism. The Strategy sets out some 30 initial measures in four priority areas: increasing awareness of Canada as a premier tourist destination, facilitating access and travel to Canada, encouraging development of extraordinary tourism experiences, and fostering an adequate supply of skills and labour.

"International tourism arrivals are expected to reach 1.6 billion globally by 2020," said Minister of State Bernier. "Canada's tourism sector is in a strong position to seize new opportunities that will have important economic and social benefits for Canadians."

Tourism makes a significant contribution to Canada's economy. It represents approximately 2 percent of our gross domestic product and employs nearly 600,000 people across all regions of Canada. Recognizing tourism as a key economic driver, Prime Minister Harper met with senior industry leaders and announced the framework for the Federal Tourism Strategy in June 2009.

To download a copy of the Federal Tourism Strategy and for further information, please visit our federal tourism website.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Scott French
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
613-943-6183

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502


Backgrounder

Federal Tourism Strategy

On October 6, 2011, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), officially launched the Federal Tourism Strategy.

The Strategy is based on a collaborative approach, coordinating tourism-related efforts of some 15 departments and agencies.

It provides the scope and direction that allows the government to play a more collaborative role with the industry as tourism owners and operators position themselves to take advantage of the rapid expansion in the global marketplace.

The Strategy outlines the steps that the government is taking to implement this approach, including establishing new mechanisms to integrate tourism policy and program development across departments, formalizing industry engagement, maintaining a new tourism website and reporting annually on progress under the Strategy.

A key element of our new approach is ongoing communication within government on federal plans and priorities affecting tourism now and in the years to come. Industry Canada will chair a group of senior federal executives to oversee and guide implementation of the Federal Tourism Strategy. Federal departments and agencies will also regularly invite members of the industry representing a broad range of perspectives from across the entire sector, including industry leaders, association heads, and tourism business owners and operators.

In the near term, the Strategy includes some 30 initial measures in four priority areas:

  • Increasing awareness of Canada as a premier tourist destination;
  • Facilitating ease of access and movement for travellers while protecting the safety and integrity of Canada's borders;
  • Encouraging product development and investments in Canadian tourism assets and products; and
  • Fostering an adequate supply of skills and labour to enhance visitor experiences through quality service and hospitality.

In June 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the framework for the Federal Tourism Strategy. Since the goal was to develop a coordinated federal approach to tourism, the Strategy is the product of extensive consultations with tourism stakeholders from industry and other levels of government.

To download a copy of the Federal Tourism Strategy and for further information, please visit our federal tourism website.

International tourism is an important source of export revenues, having brought $14.9 billion into the economy in 2010. That's comparable to the export sales figures for three key natural resources—aluminum, copper and coal—combined. In 2010, as Canada benefitted from improved confidence and global economic conditions and its hosting of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, international overnight travel to Canada increased, reaching an estimated 16.1 million arrivals for a gain of 2.3 percent over 2009.

The Government of Canada has invested significantly in the tourism sector, including investments in national parks and historic sites, as well as the promotion of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

In the government's 2011 budget, investments in the tourism sector included commitments to:

  • Mark the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Calgary Stampede and the Grey Cup; and
  • Provide $5.5 million over five years to Parks Canada to establish the Mealy Mountains National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador.
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