June 18th, 2014

Conservatives must attract more American tourists

New Democrats are joining tourism industry representatives to urge Conservatives to invest in a strategy that will bring American tourists back to Canada and spur job growth.

“The tourism industry supports over 600,000 jobsin communities across Canada” said Deputy Tourism critic Annick Papillon (Quebec). “But Conservatives have badly neglected the industry.”

Although international tourism is growing, the number of international travelers coming to Canada has fallen by nearly 20% since 2002.

Among the reasons for the decline is the Conservatives’ decision to cut funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission. As a result, the Commission isn’t promoting Canada as a tourist destination in the US anymore — even though that is where visitors to Canada are most likely to come from.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada is now asking for the government to partner with the industry for a three year plan to promote Canada as a destination to US tourists — and New Democrats are calling on Conservatives to get on board.

“If you’re a lobbyist for a big oil company, you get whatever you want from this government,” said the NDP’s Small Business and Tourism critic, Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury). “But the small businesses across Canada that create good, sustainable jobs in the tourism sector, they’re being totally ignored.”

“What the tourism industry is calling for is a modest, absolutely common-sense investment that will start bringing US tourists back, and create over 6,000 jobs. The government should step-up and make it happen,” Thibeault added.