Canada and the Global Tourism Marketplace

According to the UNWTO, tourism is the world’s 5th fastest growing industry, with one billion international travellers, $1.53 trillion in global revenues and 5% growth globally per year. Much of that growth is coming from the emerging middle classes of Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico.

In 2013, Canada's tourism industry:

  • Represented more of Canada’s GDP than agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined
  • Generated $88.5 billion in economic activity
  • Was responsible for more than $17.2 billion in export revenue despite a growing travel deficit
  • Generated $9.6 billion in federal government revenue
  • Fostered 628 000 jobs across the country, spread across all 308 ridings

At 1.5% growth in Canada, the sector looks superficially healthy, but we are losing share of the international travel market.

Between 2002 and 2013, almost all countries posted international tourist arrivals gains – except Canada.


International Visitors are CRUCIAL for Growth

If Canada were to increase international visitation by 5% to keep pace, and then surpass, the global rate of growth, in turn Canada would get:

  • $180 million in room night spending
  • $613 million more in overall spending1
  • 2,700 more flights2
  • 4,538 more jobs - 2,269 for youth3
  • An additional $80,406,881 in federal revenue

Without these additional visitors, Canadians will have to pay more in taxes to offset the lack of revenue from foreign visitors.

1 Based on $768 average spend per visitor
2 Based on 68% of visitors arrived by air, 200 seats/plane in 2013
3 Based on every $135 365 in additional spending creating 1 new job


What's Holding Canada Back?

At 1.5% growth in Canada, the tourism sector looks superficially healthy, but we are losing share of the international travel market. Prolonged and sustainable growth requires progress on larger structural issues that are preventing us from being globally competitive.

TIAC's members believe that public policy challenges in three key areas are inhibiting growth in the sector: Marketing, Access and Product.

“M” for Marketing

  • Competitive and sustainable long-term funding for Destination Canada.

“A” for Access

  • More competitive tax and visa policy
    • Aviation Taxes & Fees: Canada is a “Fly-to” destination – and our cost structure is a barrier to success. Airport rents, fuel taxes and security fees have rendered us 105th in the world for aviation cost structure according to the World Economic Forum.
    • Visas & Border Issues:Facilitating the process of crossing the Canadian border is essential for generating more business and leisure travellers. Improve border access and infrastructure; build on pre-clearance services and trusted traveller programs; and build an effective visa system to encourage visitors from key emerging markets including Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico

“P” for Product

  • Investments in tourism products owned by federal and provincial governments (parks, museums and heritage areas), and renewal of support for attractions and festivals creates urgencies for travellers to choose Canada.


TIAC Industry Patrons

Marriott International

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