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Gateway to Growth: Tourism Competitive Benchmarking Study

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has released the 2013 edition of the Tourism Competitive Benchmarking Study which reveals that despite having strong potential, investment in Canadian Tourism is down 30%.

Conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, this study uses a multi-faceted framework of analysis for comparing the performance of the tourism sector and its industries with other aspects of the Canadian economy.

"On the surface, the travel and tourism industry in Canada is key economic driver delivering positive GDP and wage growth. But this study gives us the hidden tourism story of the serious warning signs regarding our financial fundamentals such as revenues, profit margins and an alarming 30% drop in tourism investment over pre-recession levels," stated TIAC President and CEO David Goldstein.

It is not all bad news. The study also highlights there great potential for the sector to be one of Canada's most sustainable and profitable. The scorecard approach of the study captures the diversity of the sector and the industries within it, revealing an inherent stability allowing it to weather most economic downturns.

Travel and tourism is among the highest performing sectors of the global economy, experiencing average growth of 4% and generating over $1trillion in annual revenue. This segment of the global economy is fiercely competitive where quality of experience, ease of access and price point drives demand. Canada's competitiveness for global market share is currently impeded by fixable public policy barriers.

"Investment is driven by the heightened demand generated through incremental growth in international arrivals to Canada.  TIAC is actively engaged with the government to address the policy barriers holding the sector back. Specifically, TIAC is working towards well-funded, nationally aligned marketing initiatives in the United States, modernizing Canada's visitor visa processes and lowering fees and taxes on aviation," concluded Goldstein .

In his presentation to the annual meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Tourism Ministers held recently in Whitehorse, David Goldstein recommended that a National Task Force be established under the Federal Tourism Strategy to increase investment in Canada's Travel and Tourism Industry.

Gateway to Growth: Tourism Competitive Benchmarking Study is the third in a series of research reports to increase awareness of the complexity of the global travel and tourism sector and to identify practical measures that will increase competitiveness and produce real and sustainable economic development, jobs and prosperity for Canadians.

About TIAC - Founded in 1930, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada is the only national organization representing the full cross-section of Canada's $84.8 billion tourism industry. TIAC's members include air and passenger rail services, airport authorities, local and provincial destination authorities, hotels, attractions and tour operators. TIAC is responsible for representing tourism interests at the national level, and its advocacy work involves promoting and supporting policies, programs and activities that will benefit the sector's growth and development.

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