April 19, 2019 – Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
This week, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, met with front-line tourism sector experts from Abitibi-Témiscamingue to discuss opportunities to maximize the region’s tourism potential.
In Budget 2019, the government specifically highlighted tourism as an important driver of growth for the country’s regions. It also announced the creation of the $58.5-million Canadian Experiences Fund to help communities develop new tourism experiences to attract more visitors, particularly in smaller and more remote regions.
The budget also proposed to provide $5 million to Destination Canada for a tourism marketing campaign that will help Canadians discover lesser-known areas, hidden national gems and new experiences across the country.
Finally, the creation of a new Economic Strategy Table for the sector will give tourism a greater prestige than in the past and will put the industry on the same level as the most innovative sectors of the economy: advanced manufacturing, digital industries, clean tech, and biosciences and health sciences.
Minister Joly visited Val-d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda, where she met with representatives of the tourism sector and announced a more than $1.5 million non-repayable contribution to the Association touristique régionale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue for activities to promote and market the region and winter tourism outside Quebec and internationally.
Other highlights of Minister Joly’s trip to Abitibi-Témiscamingue included a visit to the Centre culturel anicinabe Kinawit [French site] in Val-d’Or; a meeting with Jean Sfaelos, chef at the Moulin Noir [French site] gourmet restaurant; and a visit to Parc national d’Aiguebelle in Rouyn-Noranda.
Since November 2018, the Minister has met with tourism sector workers from coast to coast to coast to listen to their ideas and learn about their experiences. These discussions have helped inform a new federal tourism strategy for maximizing Canada’s tourism potential. It will be released later this spring.
“The tourism sector creates good jobs for middle-class families in every region of the country, including here in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Support for tourism in Budget 2019 builds on existing and ongoing investments aimed at stimulating the tourism sector. I am convinced that increased opportunities in the tourism sector will help attract new visitors to all regions, both rural and urban, and that the future of tourism in Canada is bright.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
Tourism represents more than 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
Tourism supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada.
Abitibi-Témiscamingue attracts more than 480,000 tourists from outside the region each year, and annual tourism spending in the region is $97 million.
According to Statistics Canada data from the 2016 census, 405,000 people work directly or indirectly in the tourism sector in Quebec.