Last week, TIAO and our tourism delegation met with cabinet ministers and their teams in person at the 2022 conference of the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) in Ottawa. This was an important opportunity to advocate on behalf of Ontario’s tourism industry by bringing key issues and recommendations to ministry teams, gauging the policy priorities of key ministries to incorporate into future advocacy, and fostering working relationships with key ministry officials and staff.
Joining us as part of our tourism delegation were Destination Northern Ontario, Indigenous Tourism Ontario, OTEC, Boating Ontario, OMCA, Camping in Ontario, Smart Serve, RTO9, Kingston Accommodation Partners, and Blue Mountain Village Association.
Our key AMO asks included: debt relief and action on commercial insurance, implementing a tourism workforce strategy, new tax incentives and partnerships to spur tourism growth, creating regional and localized solutions to the affordable housing crisis, continued transportation and infrastructure upgrades, climate change prevention and recovery supports, and long-term strategic investments to support the rebuild, growth, and resilience of our industry across tourism sectors and regions.
With our tourism delegation, TIAO met with 17 ministries including the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development; Treasury Board Secretariat; Ministry of Northern Development; Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Ministry of Indigenous Affairs; Ministry of Transportation; Ministry of Francophone Affairs; and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.
We met with MPP Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, and we also met with Mayor Cam Guthrie, chair of the Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM). In our discussion with Mayor Guthrie, we discussed the impacts of rising visible homelessness and precarity on the safety of frontline tourism workers – and how TIAO can help advocate for the provincial resources that municipalities need to address this complex issue.
But that’s not all – we continued to raise awareness of the challenges facing tourism recovery at the TIAO booth in the AMO exhibition hall. TIAO met with various Mayors, Deputy Mayors, economic developer’s, CAO’s, councilors, and other regional organization leaders. We discussed the economic impact of tourism within their municipality and how we can work together to support the tourism industry.
After flagging our key asks at AMO, we will be pursuing follow-up meetings with ministries and municipal partners to discuss these issues and our recommendations in greater depth to support the rebuilding of Ontario’s tourism industry across all sectors and regions of the province.
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
Director, Policy & Government Affairs