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September 11, 2009
For immediate release
Canada's Tourism Ministers Come Together to Support Tourism Across the Country
Ministers expressed confidence that the long-term growth potential for tourism in Canada is strong despite the immediate challenges faced by the sector as a result of the current economic climate. The federal, provincial and territorial governments recognized the vital role tourism plays with respect to the Canadian economy. A key outcome of the meeting was to work towards a national tourism revenue target of $100 billion by 2015. Ministers agreed the target is supported by government efforts to grow tourism in Canada.
“Back in 2006, tourism ministers set a target of $75 billion in tourism revenues by 2010,” said Minister Ablonczy. “According to Statistics Canada, we have reached revenues of $74.7 billion in 2008. The new 2015 target allows us to build on this past success.”
The Honourable Valerie E. Docherty, PEI’s Minister of Tourism, stressed the importance of national collaboration in a globally competitive environment. “Prince Edward Island relies heavily on tourism, more so than any other Canadian province, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with our counterparts on strategic initiatives to invest in this vibrant industry,” said Minister Docherty. “Prince Edward Island is committed to working together in identifying new opportunities, building on existing opportunities and developing innovative initiatives that will create economic growth in tourism.”
Ministers heard from industry representatives and acknowledged that tourism is an economic driver that creates jobs and generates economic activity across the country. The meeting provided a forum to share information on positive measures adopted in all jurisdictions to help alleviate the impact of the current economic climate and advance the long-term potential of the tourism industry.
Provincial and territorial ministers welcomed the opportunity to hear from Minister of State Ablonczy on the development of a new Federal Tourism Strategy. They recognized that significant resources are invested in tourism by all levels of government, not only through tourism-specific programs. They also committed to work within their governments to help ensure that broader policies, programs and measures in all departments are implemented in ways that support tourism.
Canada’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird also presented at this meeting. Minister Baird addressed the important relationship between tourism and air services.
“The Government of Canada is committed to helping our tourism sector emerge stronger than ever and to maintaining Canada’s position as a top tourist destination,” said Baird. “We are taking steps now to make this happen, including an impressive air agreement strategy with other countries, the largest infrastructure renewal in decades and support for national parks, trails and tourism attractions across the country.”
Ministers also committed to continue joint efforts to take full advantage of the promotional opportunities linked to the upcoming 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games that will help to raise the profile of Canada’s destinations worldwide.
The Ministers plan to meet again in 2010 to share perspectives and actions taken by their respective governments in support of the tourism sector, and to take stock of progress towards the $100 billion target.