New strategy to strengthen and diversify the tourism sector in all regions of Canada
May 23, 2019 – Vancouver, British Columbia
Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of Canada’s tourism sector and make up 99% of its businesses. From ski lodges to wineries to tour operators, these businesses showcase the unique experiences that attract travellers to regions of Canada year-round. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the tourism sector so its businesses can continue to grow in a sustainable way, benefiting local economies for years to come.
That’s why the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, today addressed the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and will be at the BC Chamber for Commerce this evening, discussing 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.
The Minister also emphasized the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) that was unveiled earlier this week as a pillar of the new strategy. The CEF supports Canadian businesses and organizations working to create or enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences. It supports the development of communities’ strengths, which will help elevate local revenues and disperse international visitors beyond the usual destinations and the summer season.
“B.C. provides unique tourism experiences to travellers from around the world-from world-class skiing and surfing to rich Indigenous cultures to succulent seafood and great farm-to-table experiences. Our government is committed to making sure the robust tourism sector continues to grow in a sustainable way and creates meaningful jobs for the middle class. 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
As of 2017, there were approximately 302,700 jobs in the B.C. tourism sector, with 137,800 of them supported directly by visitor spending. Tourism supports up to 12% of all jobs in B.C.
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%.