New strategy will empower communities and create jobs for the middle class
May 23, 2019 – Sherbrooke, Quebec
Canada’s tourism sector is booming, bringing in record numbers of international visitors in 2017 and 2018. It’s our number one service export and accounts for one in ten jobs. The Government of Canada is committed to building on this momentum by investing in tourism to create middle class jobs, grow Canada’s economy, and bring new opportunities and pride to communities looking for a chance to show the world what they have.
That’s why the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, was in Sherbrooke today to meet with agriculture entrepreneurs to discuss Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
This strategy will empower communities of all sizes through short- and long-term measures by:
- providing $58.5 million in funding through the Canadian Experiences Fund to enhance Canada’s tourism products and experiences;
- changing the way we invest in tourism by developing Tourism Investment Groups where all levels of government will collaborate to invest more efficiently while meeting local priorities and identifying ways to raise private investment; and
- creating the new Tourism Industry Economic Strategy Table to provide a platform for government and industry leaders to collaborate on overcoming sector challenges.
These three pillars will take a whole-of-government approach to addressing barriers to growth, such as lack of investment coordination and labour shortages.
Many international travellers choose their destinations partly based on gastronomy. Through the Canadian Experiences Fund, the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy will prioritize investments in various agritourism-related projects involving, for example, breweries, wineries, farms and maple syrup producers. This will help strengthen Canada’s reputation as a country that offers a wide variety of highly regarded homegrown and locally sourced products.
“Our government knows that tourism helps every part of the country by creating good jobs for middle class families. We’ve seen many examples of communities transforming and diversifying their economies through tourism. That’s why we’ve developed this strategy, which will stimulate growth in the tourism sector through new and ongoing investments. We are committed to diversifying and expanding our country’s tourism products and experiences to maximize the sector’s potential year-round from coast to coast to coast.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
“Quebec’s Eastern Townships have so much to entice tourists, from beautiful countryside and mountains to wonderful farm-to-table experiences, including wineries and maple products. I am thankful for the innovative tourism operators, and their tireless employees, who are making this region such a great destination. The new federal strategy announced earlier this week expands on our tourism sector’s strengths by providing funding for new tourism experiences to ensure that visitors come to communities like this one year-round.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Tourism represents more than 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
Tourism supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada, with 56% of those being in rural areas.
Total tourism revenues in 2018 from domestic and international travellers were $102.1 billion, an increase of 5.2% over 2017.
In 2018, Canada welcomed a record 21.1 million international tourists, surpassing the previous year’s record of 20.9 million by 1.2%.