For Immediate Release
Tourism ministers commit to building on momentum of fast-growing sector
Canada's tourism industry on track for record-setting year
October 16, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta
Canada's tourism industry is having its best year ever. In the first half of 2018, tourism activities directly accounted for more than $18 billion of Canada's GDP, an increase of more than 6% over the first half of 2017. The sector is a vital part of the Canadian economy, supporting 1.8 million jobs from coast to coast to coast.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and the Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism—co-chairs of this year's Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers (CCTM)—concluded a productive meeting of Canada's tourism ministers in Calgary.
At the meeting, the ministers discussed the economic importance of the tourism sector and the good jobs that it creates right across the country. They committed to continue to work together to grow this vital economic sector and create more economic growth in our communities.
In addition, the ministers heard from representatives of Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Destination Canada.
The ministers also agreed to build on the momentum of the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism. China is the world's fastest-growing source market for international tourists, and the Canada-China Year of Tourism is helping to promote Canada as a destination of choice for Chinese travellers. In the first half of 2018, Canada welcomed over 300,000 tourists from China, an increase of more than 9% over the same period last year.
The ministers also met with national Indigenous leaders who offered perspectives on the unique challenges and economic development opportunities around tourism for Indigenous communities. According to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, there are currently more than 33,000 jobs as a result of Indigenous tourism businesses in Canada, and it has a goal of increasing that to more than 40,000 by 2021.
Worldwide international tourist arrivals grew 7% in 2017, the highest increase since the 2009 global economic crisis and well above the UN World Tourism Organization's long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020. The CCTM is determined to make sure that Canadians benefit from this incredible growth and that we find innovative ways to have our fair share.
"Tourism is a strong economic driver across Canada, and it supports 1.8 million jobs from coast to coast to coast.
Our government is committed to working closely with provinces, territories and municipalities to promote Canadian tourism in order to create more good quality jobs for middle-class Canadians. When our tourism sector thrives, it means a better quality of life—in both rural and urban communities—and a stronger economy that benefits everyone. I look forward to working with my colleagues to welcome more international tourists to every part of our great country where they can enjoy truly unique and extraordinary Canadian experiences."
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
"Alberta's tourism sector has experienced phenomenal growth, with more than 35 million visits and a record $8.5 billion in spending. This strong performance demonstrates tourism's ability to diversify our economy, create jobs and generate investment in communities across the province. We also recognize that tourism development in Canada is truly a team effort. That is why Alberta has been proud to host this year's Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers and we are glad to work collaboratively with our peers from across the country to help address common challenges and capitalize on opportunities that will enable our tourism economies to flourish."
– The Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism
Because of the current transitional period following the October 1, 2018, Quebec general election, Quebec was an active observer, but did not take a position in these meetings.
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Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
Office of the Minister of Culture and Tourism