OTTAWA– Conservative neglect of Canada’s tourism industry is hurting one of our most economically important sectors, said Liberal Tourism and Small Business critic Joyce Murray on United Nations World Tourism Day.
“In a week where ministers chided businesses for not diversifying their trade, Conservatives continue to ignore how their actions are hurting international tourism,” said Ms. Murray. “Every month we see figures that indicate Canada is not attracting the number of international visitors that we should be, even from our core markets, and it is a direct result of the Conservative government’s neglect of our tourism industry.”
Since 2004 international trips to Canada have declined 36 per cent. At the same time, the number of global international trips has skyrocketed by nearly 30 per cent. The Canadian Tourism Commission indicates that for each dollar spent on direct advertising in 2011, $37 flowed back into the country’s tourism sector. Regrettably, the Conservative’s 2012 budget cut the Commission’s funding by $14.3 million, which limited their ability to promote Canada abroad, and also slashed millions for our national parks and historic sites.
“The Conservative austerity agenda has stunted this government’s ability to do simple math,” said Ms. Murray. “International tourism is an export industry that helps employ hundreds of thousands of Canadians and contributes more to our GDP than agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined. This year for the first time ever, international trips will reach one billion globally and this government must work to get a slice of the pie. The livelihoods of many Canadians depend on it.”