Canada announces a new investment to support tourism in Abitibi‑Témiscamingue and elsewhere

From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

The Association touristique régionale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue receives a total of nearly $1.7M in financial assistance to raise Quebec’s international profile

April 18, 2019 – Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

The tourism sector is a major economic driver across the country. It helps ensure sustainable growth and creates good jobs for middle-class families, both in large cities like Montréal and in smaller communities like Rouyn-Noranda. That is why the Government of Canada, through CED, is investing nearly $1.7 million to support tourism and the economy of Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced two financial contributions to the Association touristique régionale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (ATRAT) to help the region better leverage tourism opportunities.

The first, a non-repayable contribution of $555,992 over three years, will help the organization continue its mission to make the region more attractive to tourists. ATRAT will be able to implement a marketing plan and develop tourism offerings to attract visitors from outside Quebec and abroad.

CED is also providing ATRAT with a non-repayable contribution of $1,110,000 to implement an interregional marketing strategy outside Quebec for the Plaisirs d’hiver multiactivités experience. This ATRAT-led experience offered in partnership with 15 other Quebec tourism organizations aims to rally Quebec’s regional and sectoral tourism associations around a single marketing strategy. This is a first! Ultimately, this strategy will result in more interesting and integrated tourism offerings for visitors. This collective project is part of the Inclusive Growth in all Regions priority of the Federal Strategy on Innovation and Growth for the Quebec Regions.

Owing to the government’s support for projects like ATRAT’s, Canadians and visitors to Canada will be able to discover or rediscover Abitibi-Témiscamingue’s attractions and to experience winter tourism in various regions of Quebec.

This announcement was made as Minister Joly continues to meet with regional and sectoral tourism experts from across Canada. She began her cross-Canada tour last November to identify opportunities to maximize the potential benefits of tourism in Canada. The Minister listened to what the experts had to say, and now invites them to further examine the information that will contribute to developing the Federal Tourism Strategy.

In addition, the 2019 federal budget concretely recognizes the importance of tourism to the economy by proposing investments of $58.5 million over two years to create the Canadian Experiences Fund and $5 million to promote Canada as a destination for Canadians. It also provides support for the creation of a seventh Economic Strategy Table on tourism and the implementation of workforce skills development measures for the industry, including through allowances and the reduction of employment insurance premiums for small businesses.

“Our government recognizes that tourism supports all regions of the country, including here in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, by creating good jobs for middle-class families. Over the last few months, I have had the privilege of meeting with people across the country who are working tirelessly to make Canada a tourism destination of choice. Their unique experience and the work of the Advisory Committee I set up are guiding our federal tourism strategy, which I will be launching in the spring with a view to maximizing Canada’s tourism potential.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie,

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in the Association touristique régionale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue is building on Canada’s competitive advantages and tourist attraction to boost economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for CED

“For over twenty years, CED has been a partner of choice for Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Thanks to CED’s investments, the region has seen significant increases in the number of visitors from outside Quebec. Tourism is the only economic activity found in all regions of Quebec. This partnership is a demonstration of trust, and it shows that CED continues to recognize all the economic benefits of the tourism industry, especially in a rural region like ours. In addition, we are pleased to lead the Quebec‑based Plaisirs d’hiver project!”

Randa Napky, Executive Director, Association touristique régionale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio, which is made up of 17 federal departments and agencies, including CED and the other five regional development agencies.

  • The funding was awarded under CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program.

  • For 50 years now, the Government of Canada has been actively participating in regional economic development in Quebec: half a century of concrete action dedicated to the development of the regions and local businesses.

  • Tourism represents 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product and supports 1.8 million jobs in the country.

  • Each year, Abitibi-Témiscamingue attracts nearly 480,000 tourists from outside the region. Tourism spending is estimated at $97M.

  • The volume of tourists visiting Abitibi-Témiscamingue from outside Quebec has grown steadily since 2013, increasing by nearly 23%.

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