October 12, 2023 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
The federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for tourism today concluded the 2023 Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers (CCTM) meeting. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, as well as the Honourable Steve Crocker, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation. The co-chairs acknowledged the traditional territories of many Indigenous groups, as well as the diverse histories and cultures of the Beothuk, Mi’kmaq, Innu and Inuit of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Tourism is one of Canada’s biggest industries and an economic driver in communities across the country, and ministers discussed how governments can best support its continued success, while respecting the jurisdiction of each order of government. Tourism supports multiple industries that accounted for approximately 10 percent of total Canadian jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022. The diversity of national parks and historic sites across Canada are an integral part of its tourism offering – preserving our environmental heritage and contributing to economic growth.
In particular, this year’s CCTM focused on three themes: Canada’s tourism workforce, access to destinations and economic growth. Ministers heard from CCTM working groups studying these issues, including best practices and input from stakeholders. As the growth of Indigenous tourism remains a top priority, working groups shared perspectives gleaned from engagement with Indigenous tourism organizations. Ministers acknowledged the significant effects that extreme weather events have had on the tourism sector this year and are likely to have going forward.
The continued growth of Canadian tourism relies on progress in several key areas, most significantly transportation, labour and immigration. CCTM ministers agreed to continue working together on these issues, including with their respective cabinet colleagues and other federal-provincial-territorial forums at the administrative or working group level.
Ministers noted that transportation and destination access are fundamental drivers of tourism. All ministers are committed to looking further at the intersections between tourism and transportation, ensuring that Canada works to build out air connectivity and develop sustainable transportation options across the country. Where applicable, ministers will aim to collaborate with their respective transportation colleagues to amplify existing strategies and to develop new solutions to increase competitiveness.
On economic growth, the CCTM forum will continue to analyze how the sector attracts investment, further engages with Indigenous tourism officials, and evaluates the challenges faced by tourism businesses. CCTM working groups will continue their efforts in the coming year, and all ministers will review their progress at the 2024 CCTM.
On the first day, industry stakeholders were invited to present some of the challenges currently facing the air travel industry across Canada, while Destination Canada presented on the trends and forecasts for tourism marketing. Ministers also discussed the recently released Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. Provincial and territorial ministers welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with the federal government through the new federal ministerial council and explore how the new strategy can support their goals and priorities, while respecting the roles and responsibilities of each government.
After experiencing a challenging period, tourism in Canada is now making a strong recovery. There have been significant increases in revenues, international visitor numbers, and the tourism GDP compared to 2022. The future looks promising as tourism's contribution to Canada's GDP has the potential to double in the next decade. Ministers are enthusiastic about their ongoing collaboration to support the complete recovery and sustained growth of our tourism sector to ensure that the sector continues to generate employment and opportunities for Canadians.
“Canadian tourism has enormous potential, and we’re working together to seize it. The Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers is one of the many ways in which governments are working together to support our tourism industry, so it can continue supporting communities nationwide. This week’s productive discussions will help us move forward – creating jobs and welcoming more tourists to Canada!”
– The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
“It was a pleasure to co-chair the 2023 Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers meeting with my colleague, the Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada. As time passes, we are moving further from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, but it continues to be an issue which requires our continued collaboration, attention and support. With that said, I leave the meeting with a renewed sense of optimism around what we can achieve and the potential that exists within the Canadian tourism industry.”
– The Honourable Steve Crocker, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation
“Tourism drives economic growth and makes significant social and cultural contributions to communities and businesses across our country. By working together, governments across Canada can continue to grow the tourism sector and overcome the challenges that prevent us from realizing our full tourism potential. As the incoming co-chair of the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers, I look forward to collaborating with my federal, provincial and territorial colleagues to create a more globally competitive visitor economy for Canada.”
– The Honourable Joseph Schow, Alberta Minister of Tourism and Sport
Office of the Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation