Canada targets $160bn in tourism revenues annually by 2030

Canada has unveiled a new strategy that will help the industry grow its tourism revenues by a further $20bn a year and enhance its global competitiveness.

Destination Canada’s 2030 Strategy, A World of Opportunity, was launched at travel trade show Rendez-vous Canada and aims to drive tourism revenues to $160bn every year by 2030.

Speaking in Edmonton, Alberta, president and chief executive of Destination Canada Marsha Walden said there is a “clear opportunity” to reach this target. “But to do that, we have to transcend the traditional constraints that are currently capping us at $140bn,” she added.

Destination Canada also hopes the strategy will place Canada in the top seven destinations worldwide in the Travel & Tourism Development Index.

“In 2021, we were 13th in the word, according to the ranking by the World Economic Forum, and we want to reclaim our position in the top seven global destinations,” said Walden. “It’s time to amplify our presence on the world stage and unlock the competitive advantages that we have.”

The strategy outlines several initiatives which fall under four categories: sector advancement, brand leadership, destination development and collective intelligence.

Some of these initiatives include supporting Indigenous tourism advancement, supporting policy and programmes to improve access to capital and investment, and using analytics to inform sector strategies and advise policymakers.

The strategy was lauded by Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Canada’s minister of tourism, who said one in 10 jobs in the country is in the tourism sector, contributing to 2.3% of Canada’s GDP.

“Nations across the world are investing in tourism, and so are we,” said Martinez Ferrada.

Despite the targets, Walden acknowledged there are “capacity challenges, and they’re looming”, in terms of accommodation across the country, with investment being one of the areas of focus to help drive competitiveness.

“We’re looking for unique, quality accommodation to be built in our future,” she said. “We’re looking at strategies to attract more domestic investment and foreign direct investment from the private sector; how we can be more successful in that space to getting accommodation built.”

Rendez-vous Canada took place in Edmonton between May 14-17 and welcomed 1,400 delegates. Next year’s event will be hosted in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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