Monday, February 7

Harnessing Canada's International Tourism Competitiveness

Travel Alberta's weekly tourism industry e-newletter "The Buzz" always gives us the pulse around the latest intelligence available on where Alberta's tourism industry is heading. Quite often the information shared is if direct relevance for Canada's tourism industry as a whole. That is especially the case in this morning's edition, the gist of which you will find below.

Canada will continue to lose its attractiveness as a world tourist destination unless governments take immediate action to ease tax, regulatory and other burdens on the $71.5 billion industry, according to a study by the National Travel and Tourism Coalition (NTTC).

“Since 2002, Canada has slipped from the eighth most‐visited destination in the world to the fifteent“noted Tourism Industry Association of Canada President and CEO David Goldstein. “If we are to compete globally and regain our position as a top ten destination in the world, the policy‐based impediments that have been built in to our sector need to be addressed.”

The Coalition’s analysis and recommendations are contained in Looking to 2020 – The Future of Travel and Tourism in Canada, an unprecedented look at the state of the sector. The study provides a description of the opportunities tourism presents for Canada, together with a set of realistic policy recommendations that will set the stage for economic growth and export development in the short to medium terms. The whitepaper identifies four areas in particular that require public policy fixes:

* A fair taxation regime that assists the growth of international travel and tourism;
* A level playing field with the United States in competition for overseas and trans‐border travel and tourism;
* Policies that enhance global competitiveness of Canada’s travel and tourism industry;
* Access to a sufficiently large and skilled labour force: for Canada’s travel and tourism industry.

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