This week, we submitted TIAO’s contribution to the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. Our contribution addressed the consultation’s focus areas—labour gaps and instability, investment attraction and destination development, and long-term economic growth across the country—through the lens of four critical themes: economic, labour, infrastructure, and sustainable tourism.
Our overarching message was that in order for tourism businesses to fully leverage the opportunities for growth and prosperity and in order for the industry to move forward, there are still a number of barriers to overcome first—with many of these barriers producing an uneven pace of recovery for tourism sectors and regions across the province. Addressing these immediate and systemic economic, labour, infrastructure, and sustainability barriers will help ensure that tourism businesses fully recover from the effects of the past two years and can be in a position to cultivate economic growth over the long-term.
As such, we called for:
- Debt relief measures
- Tax and financial incentives to support the return of meetings, conventions, events, and live entertainment
- A Tourism Workforce Strategy with measures to promote tourism as a career, immigration reform to attract and retain talent of all skill levels, investments in future talent, and ensuring workforce decision-making is data-driven, locally-, and regionally-specific
- Investing in bus and passenger rail links to connect rural destinations
- Mandates to ensure the building of more affordable housing purchases, including purpose-built rentals
- Climate change prevention and mitigation supports for resource-based tourism operators
- Permanent personal income tax credits to incentivize domestic travel over the long-term
- Strategies to ensure future seamless inbound travel for US visitors
Over the past two weeks, we’ve also made a number of media appearances discussing the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit, ArriveCAN issues, what’s behind the delays at Toronto Pearson airport, and the impact of travel barriers on visitors.
As always, thank you for your continued support. And of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jessica Ng, PhD
Director, Policy & Government Affairs