Destination 2017: Where Should We Be in 2017?
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were unparalleled successes for Canada's tourism industry, not just in Vancouver and Whistler, but from coast to coast to coast. While the industry continues to harvest the Olympic afterglow, it has established the year 2017 as a yardstick for measuring future growth in the sector.
The Federal, Provincial and Territorial Tourism Ministers have set their sights on growing from a $70B sector to a $100B sector by the year 2017. Similarly, TIAC has established a goal of returning to the top 10 countries in terms of international arrivals by 2017.
Canada will host the hemisphere for the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015 and we have a rare opportunity to create a global celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017. This timeframe is realistic and realizable.
Where Should We Be In 2017?
1. Open, Competitive and Connected
- Rebalancing & restructuring the input cost structures (fees, taxes, rents & surcharges) to support stronger price competition.
- More open markets for air and more meaningful competition with passenger rail.
- Connectivity (intermodality) that provides travelers seamless movement and access.
- Reducing travel restrictions on most favoured nations (Mexico).
- Equitable and efficient visa and travel document processes (documents in originating languages, increased processing capacity etc.)
- Stronger border support (more accessible border procedures – increased capacity for customs preclearance, including air and passenger rail).
- Taxation policy (GST/HST) that recognizes we are an export sector.
- Bilateral discussions on North American Perimeter.
2. Stronger Product, Stronger Workforce
- Stronger attractions and distribution network to package experiences.
- Readiness to receive tourists from emerging markets (China, India, South America…).
- Better access to capital for small- and medium-sized operators to become export ready. (Program Review for BDC and EDC.)
- Education and professional development that helps create unique experiences.
- Stronger public/private alignment on attractions. (National parks, museums, festivals…)
- Stronger statistical capabilities.
3. Promotional Excellence
- Focused and stronger national promotional agency with a sustainable funding model.
- Alignment of roles and responsibilities vertically through the value chain (national, provincial, local).