Canada, Powered by Tourism, a Celebration of Canadian National Tourism Week

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<span>Canada, Powered by Tourism, a Celebration of Canadian National Tourism Week</span>
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This year’s Canadian National Tourism Week theme, “Canada Powered by Tourism,” echoes the fact that tourism is the cornerstone of Canadian prosperity.

Canadian National Tourism Week is now in its fourteenth year to celebrate the economic and social impact that tourism has on the community. National Tourism Week is a weeklong event by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) aiming to highlight tourism’s pivotal role in all cities and provinces across Canada. Acting on behalf of thousands of businesses nationwide, TIAC helps promote policies and programs that foster economic growth. National Tourism Week, which takes place this year from April 15-19, 2024, encourages all Canadians to partake in celebrating the sector centered around this year’s theme: Canada Powered by Tourism. To help spread awareness during the celebration, TIAC is calling on all tourism organizations in the sector, public stakeholders, destination organizations, business leaders, and proud community members from around the country to share their National Tourism Week 2024 celebrations across all social media platforms. 

Canada: Powered by Tourism aims to transcend past economic measures by highlighting tourism’s profound impact on the diverse ideals, communities, and people that make up Canada’s culture. Destination organizations can highlight several key initiatives during National Tourism Week to draw attention to the undeniable truth that tourism drives economic growth in Canada. Tourism uniquely shares Canada’s values and principles with the world, highlighting its diversity, resilience, peace, tolerance, and respect for one another. Moreover, Canadian National Tourism Week is designed to highlight the unusual suspects that are impacted by tourism, including air, land, and sea travel, promotion of travel destinations and Canadian tourism hubs, as well as recreation, entertainment, and experiences that boost the visitor economy. The tourism economy within all cities and provinces helps to support a diverse labor workforce, including residents from underrepresented groups, newcomers to Canada, and youth—each group representing 30% of the workforce in 2019. Regarding Canada’s Indigenous tourism industry, more than 1900 entrepreneurs are represented throughout the land, employing more than 39,000 persons in 2019 across the country.

As economic recovery from the pandemic shows continued growth, National Tourism Week in Canada sends a strong a message: they are open and ready to accept visitors from all over the world; whether visiting for leisure or business in 2024. National Tourism Week highlights the numerous opportunities that lie ahead to help support the growth of the visitor economy, embracing new business models, promoting sustainable practices, and staying ahead of innovative technologies now and in the years ahead. Gaining the proper support from stakeholders could help Canada achieve the following goals by 2030: grow tourism spending in Canada to $134 Billion, build the tourism workforce to put 2.5 million Canadians to work in the sector, welcome 30 million international overnight visitors, and improve Canada’s ranking in the World Economic Forum Travel and tourism Development Index to 7th place.  

In helping to rebuild its workforce, National Tourism Week highlights the goal of enhancing the current workforce to include underrepresented groups, increasing engagement with the youth, uplifting the Indigenous community, and partnering with academic institutions to close the gap in the existing labor market. In 2022, the tourism industry employed more than 1.87 million people, representing 90% of pre-pandemic levels. In Canada, the visitor economy is most heavily supported by food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, and transportation, with Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia providing the highest percentage of employment.  

Photo Credit: Destination Canada

Ways for Destination Organizations in Canada to Get Involved 

For organizations looking to get involved in Canadian National Tourism Week there are several ways to highlight the significance of the tourism industry. Destination organizations, tour operators, hotels, and local businesses are encouraged to Go Green in their social media campaigns to raise awareness of the industry’s economic, social, and cultural importance in Canada. The hospitality sector is encouraged to share a few pictures and share the official hashtag of National Tourism Week (#TourismWeekCanada2024), tagging the Tourism Industry Association of Canada on social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, X (Formerly Twitter), and Instagram. Further, business leaders across the sector have access to the National Tourism Week Toolkit to spread awareness of the impact of the visitor economy and to ensure consistent messaging throughout the week.  

To share unique and important stories about tourism, organizations are encouraged to share video messages that highlight the community, company, or local businesses in each destination throughout the country. Videos are encouraged to be 20-30 seconds in length detailing the importance of tourism and its profound contributions to the community including unique travel experiences found within each city and province. Also, destination organizations are encouraged to spread the word about the importance of the sector in speaking to stakeholders, meeting planners, media, government, and other entities that are impacted by the power of tourism. The toolkit provides promotional graphics in English, French, and bilingual versions that destinations may download. 

Established in 2021, Destinations International created the Canadian Destination Leadership Council to achieve the following objectives: build awareness of the economic contribution that destination organizations make to communities, champion causes that affect the industry across Canada, including advocating to lift barriers to visitation capacity, and working to protect Canadian visitor-based assessment and room taxes that are allocated to destinations organizations for marketing and promotional campaign purposes. Canadian Tourism Week focuses on building a collaborative space for innovation, creativity, and learning between Canadian destination organizations and other industry groups.

In summary, rebuilding the visitor economy is the key to economic growth in cities and provinces across Canada. National Tourism Week highlights the importance of the sector, its efforts to rebuild the labor market, and its principled values that include peace, tolerance, and resilience, which are woven into the culture across Canada. To commemorate National Tourism Week, destination organizations and other industry groups can share messages showing the sector’s importance through social media channels and in talks with stakeholders. In working to achieve the goals set out by the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy plan; it requires a multi-stakeholder buy-in approach that can play an integrated role in advancing the strategies that contribute to the future growth of the tourism sector.

About the Author

Stephanie Auslander

Advocacy and Data Coordinator
Destinations International

Stephanie is a recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a Master’s Degree in Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development. Previously, she worked as an Intern with Solimar International assisting Destination Marketing Organizations in formulating Tourism Development strategies for the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Republic Of Georgia and the Sisian region of Armenia. Additionally, she is the author of a Tourism Research Proposal detailing ways in which Destinations can promote the concept of Sustainability to its consumers for a lasting positive impact. With a background in Tourism Development she is confident in her ability to help Destinations innovate into the future.

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