Tourism Counts – March 9, 2022  
 
Recently, I've spent much time discussing tourism's role as a major economic driver during the Tourism Industry Association of Canada's (TIAC's) annual Hill Days advocacy initiative. I met with more than 60 parliamentarians across all party lines to educate them on the critical issues affecting the industry and on our organization's goal of rebuilding the $105 billion industry by 2026.

Now, as troubling events continue to unfold in Eastern Europe, I'm reminded that not only is tourism a powerful economic driver but it is also a global industry that is of vital importance to the world. It is the antidote to isolationism and xenophobia and is fundamental to the social and cultural identity of Canada. Tourism is the prime vehicle by which we demonstrate to the world what it means to be a peaceful, tolerant, and inclusive nation. 
 
And so the hard work of TIAC continues. Some may think the goal is too ambitious, but I am adamant that the full-recovery of our sector is achievable, if private- and public-sector partners continue to work together, and the right tools and measures are put in place to overcome existing issues and barriers. 
 
As such, with a view to beginning the long journey ahead, we have identified several key priorities for action, grouped under three broad headings:  
 
i) Financial Supports and Infrastructure 
ii) Labour Shortage in Tourism and 
iii) Branding and Barriers. 
 
I encourage you to read about the priority areas and related recommendations in our pre budget submission here
 
To raise our collective voice, we have written a template letter for you to send to your MP in support of our budget recommendations. Please find all of the details here.  
 
I am happy to say that last week comes with many restrictions being lifted. All good steps in the right direction, but still not enough to convince international visitors to choose Canada again in large numbers. We continue to meet with officials to stress the need to lift these additional barriers, and to change the narrative around travel. I was vocal in a press conference earlier this month around unnecessary testing at the border and the barriers this creates for our industry, and I continue to share this message with media.  
 
Please reach out with any comments or questions on our advocacy work at beth@tiac-aitc.ca.

Sincerely,  
 
Beth Potter 
President and CEO 
Tourism Industry Association of Canada 
TIAC Advocacy Update  
Earlier this month, TIAC submitted our pre-budget recommendations to the federal government. This report outlines TIAC’s key priority areas to get your businesses and our industry back to the economic powerhouse we were pre pandemic.

There are several assistance programs in support of businesses that we believe could be improved and/or modified to better meet the needs of operators in tourism, and better position the industry for faster growth. And, new financial support is needed in key priority areas. We outlined 16 recommendations for financial supports.

The recovery of the tourism industry in Canada largely hinges on addressing the significant labour shortages that currently exist. This issue is complex, and one that will require a concerted effort and close collaboration between private- and public-sector partners across all levels of government to effectively deal with. We are working closely with Tourism HR Canada on this issue and outlined three recommendations for the labour shortage challenge.

Lastly, key to kick-starting the recovery of Canada’s travel economy rests on a number of factors that have a direct bearing on travellers’ perception. These include updating the current narrative used by government around travel, eliminating barriers to travel, and correcting the current perception both international and domestic travellers now have about travelling to and from Canada.

In many countries around the world, Canada is now perceived as closed for tourism business and/or too complicated to travel to with all its requirements. To enable the tourism industry to more effectively plan for its recovery from the pandemic, we outlined two recommendations.

Read the full submission here.

How can you help? We have drafted a template letter for you to send to your MP supporting our recommendations. Please download the letter here, and don’t forget to copy Madison Simmons, msimmons@tiac-aitc.ca

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Madison Simmons, Director of Government Affairs, at msimmons@tiac-aitc.ca.
Hardest Hit Coalition Launches New Campaign

The Coalition of the Hardest Hit Businesses is launching a new awareness campaign calling on the Government of Canada to take immediate action to save the tourism industry in Canada, which was the first hit by the pandemic and will be the last to recover. Together with its coalition partners, TIAC is urgently calling on the government to remove barriers at the border, maintain and extend the Tourism and Recovery Hospitality Program (THRP) support program, and help the sector attract the workforce it needs to recover.

Help us help you. Visit the coalition's website today to take action! The future of the tourism industry in Canada - and the success of your business - depends on it.
TIAC in the Media 
Watch TIAC President and CEO Beth Potter’s most recent interviews here: 
More TIAC news:
New Canada Digital Adoption Program
Last week, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the launch of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), to help Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses grow their online presence and upgrade or adopt their digital technologies. This investment, which will provide $4 billion over four years, will support up to 160,000 small businesses and create jobs across the country, including thousands of jobs for young Canadians.
Under the CDAP, Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to assess their digital readiness and apply for grants and loans online. This funding will help them leverage e-commerce opportunities, upgrade or adopt digital technologies, and digitize their operations to stay competitive and meet their customers’ needs in the digital marketplace. Depending on their size, specific needs, and goals, businesses can apply for funding through the Grow Your Business Online or Boost your Business Technology streams.
 
More information can be found here.
Next Phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy

Yesterday in Toronto, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, celebrated International Women’s Day by announcing the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, the next phase of the $6-billion Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. The Fund will allocate funding to not-for-profits with existing loan programs to enable them to provide additional affordable financing to women entrepreneurs, particularly for start-ups, under-represented groups or sole proprietorships that experience more difficulty in accessing financing.
Canada’s Border Measures
 
Last month, the Government of Canada announced a series of adjustments to the current border measures, representing the beginning of a phased easing of travel restrictions. As of February 28, 2022, some of the adjustments include changes to pre-entry testing, on-arrival testing, and the ArriveCAN mobile app. Visit here for additional information and download a free guide to border measures here.
Changing Restrictions 
For the most up to date information on travel, testing and borders visit: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid 
 
If you have had issues with your application for the Tourism Relief Fund, please contact Madison Simmons at msimmons@tiac-aitc.ca.

If you are still waiting for a response to your application, or have been denied,
we want to hear from you. 
Are you still waiting for a response to your application, or have been denied?
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Please visit our COVID-19 page for more information on travel policies and available support programs.