On May 18, the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance of Canada spoke for the first time to the Chamber since his appointment as federal minister.
He took the opportunity to launch a consultation period for the renewal of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
The tourism industry: One of the last sectors to recover from the effects of the pandemic
The Minister began his speech by praising the strength and resilience of the tourism industry.
“The tourism sector has shown great resilience. Everyone in Canada has shown tremendous determination. No one had a crystal ball to predict what was going to happen for the next two years” – the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance of Canada
The Minister went on to highlight the significant investments the government has made to support the sector during the pandemic.
“To get through the last two years, we invested in you, in your businesses, in our communities, from coast to coast. Today, we are on the right track.”
Randy Boissonnault also revisited the labour shortage issues that are hindering the sector’s recovery and growth
“In the 2022 budget, nearly $30 million is allocated for reducing paperwork for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Tourism is a priority sector and we’re going to take into account the skills you need.”
Towards a renewal of the federal government’s tourism strategy
The Minister took advantage of his visit to Montréal to launch the new Federal Tourism Strategy.
“Despite the relaunch, we must not let up. Today in Montréal, I am announcing the start of consultations for the renewal of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. This investment will allow the sector to grow for decades to come.”
This new strategy will include issues that have become increasingly significant since the launch of the first strategy, such as labour shortages and destination development. The Minister is calling on all stakeholders in the sector to provide input.
“The tourism sector needs to reinvent itself. I need you. Let’s be ambitious, let’s be bold. There is a seat for everyone at the table.”
Canada, an attractive and memorable destination for international tourists
As the peak tourist season is just beginning, the Minister was eager to highlight the country’s many tourist attractions.
“Canada has everything to offer travellers of all destinations. Breathtaking landscapes, authentic Aboriginal experiences, an inclusive and diversified country”
The Minister ended his presentation by saying that Canada has sent a clear sign that the country is ready to welcome foreign tourists again, with the relaxation of health measures at the borders.
“Canada is ready to welcome you. We have many advantages to offer, starting now. You don’t have to get tested before entering the country. I want tourists to come, and to buy our products.”