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Ottawa, November 19 2014 – The travel and tourism sector is one of Canada’s largest generators of GDP, contributing close to $80 billion to its economy annually. However, Canada is experiencing a serious competitiveness challenge in this sector. Our tourism competiveness problems are self-made and can be overcome by better strategies and policies.

Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling for increased investments to Canada’s marketing budget.

“Every riding in Canada depends on the strength of our tourism brand: international marketing draws tourists to all corners of the country, and we view Members of Parliament as a critical voice for advocating for marketing strategies that position Canada as a premiere international destination,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “A country’s ability to market its brand effectively is a powerful tool within the international tourism industry,” he added.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been calling for policy responses to the weakening position of Canada’s tourism sector and has identified the federal government’s reduced marketing efforts as a significant issue in which it must act to reverse our decline.

In Canada, key industries involved in tourism provide over 1.6 million jobs, which represent 9.1% of all jobs in Canada. Almost 40% of these jobs would not exist without tourism. A recent report concludes that “effective destination marketing requires significant and consistent funding with the aim of gaining a sufficient ‘share of the voice’ to be heard and make an impact—the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.”

For an industry that is underperforming within Canada, understanding the power of our brand is fundamental for improving our ability to compete in international markets. This video highlights why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling on the government to increase its investment in this important aspect of our competitiveness.

Key facts:

  • Tourism is Canada’s largest service export accounting for nearly 20% of total service exports.
  • Tourism demand in Canada, 2013: $84.5 billion (up 3.4% over 2012)
  • Tourism Export in Canada, 2013: $16.4 billion (19.4% of total, up 2.8% over 2012)

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing some 200, 000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Émilie S. Potvin
Vice President, Public Relations & Stakeholder Engagement
Office: 613.238.4000 (231)
Cell: 613.797.1860