Canada targets re-entry into top 10 global destinations

Destination Canada unveils tourism strategy for 2030

Lake Louise sunset | Credit: ROAM Creative/ Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Destination Canada has launched its new tourism strategy that aspires to transform the sector and catapult Canada back into the top 7 global destinations by 2030.

Speaking at Destination Canada’s annual trade show Rendez-vous, this year in Edmonton, Marsha Walden, President and CEO of Destination Canada and The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism, presented the tourism roadmap – entitled ‘A World of Opportunity’ – designed to increase Canada’s global competitiveness and bring in up to CA$160 billion in annual revenue by 2030. Currently, traditional constraints cap the tourism industry’s potential at CA$140 billion.

The organisation recognised that Canada’s global competitiveness has continued to slip since 2009. The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Development Index, which measures the impact of factors and policies that enable sustainable development of tourism and its contribution to over 100 countries worldwide – ranked Canada as 13th – a drop of three places and marking the first time Canada has fallen out of the top 10.

Banff Avenue, Cascade Mountain | Credit: ROAM Creative/Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

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“This is a pivotal moment for the tourism industry in Canada,” Walden said.

“We know tourism is already outpacing the global and Canadian economies but without a transformative shift, we risk stagnation and vulnerability to future economic shocks.”

“But we can’t do it alone, to truly transform, there must be collective action. This is why Canadians are at the heart of this strategy.”

“Together, we can drive transformative growth, inspire civic and national pride in what we have to offer, create sustainable, meaningful experiences for our guests and yield tangible benefits for our communities from coast to coast to coast.”

Gros Morne Adventures, Norris Point, Newfoundland & Labrador | Credit: Indigenous Tourism Canada

Destination Canada highlighted that transformative growth for the sector will be achieved through four strategic drivers, each backed by coordinated initiatives and actions. These include:

  • Sector Advancement | A Competitive Canada
    • None of the ambitious goals can be reached unless Canada is more competitive. Destination Canada has consulted with industry to identify seven levers that can boost the sectors competitiveness.
  • Brand Leadership | Driving the Brand
    • Creating a more sustainable and balanced tourism landscape through strategically targeting and geographically dispersing guests to expand seasonality and provide local opportunities.
  • Destination Development | Propelling Investment and Supply
    • Working with communities and corridors to create long-term destination development strategies, and identify needed tourism infrastructure as well as the products, services, workforce and access required to meet the expectations of our guests and the needs of local communities.
  • Collective Intelligence | Leading with Data
    • Expanding the accessibility of data and insights, empowering businesses large and small, to compete with the world.
Aerial view of the Toronto city skyline taken from the East End, including the steeple of St James Cathedral © Destination Toronto

“Canada is a tourism superpower – because we have what the world wants,” said the Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism.

“Destination Canada’s ‘A World of Opportunity’ strategy will help our tourism sector reach its full potential, bringing more visitors to our country and creating jobs & opportunities in communities nationwide. It also aligns perfectly with our Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

“In a world where nations are investing in tourism, we’re ensuring that Canada can compete with the best.”

“Tourism operators can innovate their offerings and align with the goals outlined in the 2030 Strategy, such as enhancing sustainability, promoting local experiences, and expanding seasonality,” said Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. “By differentiating themselves through unique and authentic offerings, SMEs can attract more visitors and contribute to the diversification of Canada’s tourism offerings.”

“By forming partnerships, operators can expand into new markets, share resources, and develop innovative solutions to common challenges facing the sector,” added Potter.

Keith Henry, President and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada said: “We have an amazing opportunity ahead of us to reach 160 billion dollars by 2030. This is especially exciting as we can triple Indigenous tourism in this country, create thousands of new jobs and support hundreds of new businesses.

“It’s time to work together to market, develop and grow tourism in this country. That is true economic reconciliation in action,” Henry added.

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