Funding promised for Canadian tourism marketing in US

OTTAWA, CANADA - After a two-year absence, it's time for the Canadian Tourism Commission to renew its promotional activity in the United States, Federal Tourism Minister Maxime Bernier said today.

Funding promised for Canadian tourism marketing in US

OTTAWA, CANADA – After a two-year absence, it’s time for the Canadian Tourism Commission to renew its promotional activity in the United States, Federal Tourism Minister Maxime Bernier said today.

“We believe the time is right for the CTC to explore renewal of investment in the US,” he told the annual conference of the Travel Industry Association of Canada.

The US is Canada’s most important foreign tourist market, but its share of total tourism has slipped significantly — from about 25 per cent of travelers in 2000 to 20 per cent last year. And when the Canadian government cut CTC funding two years ago, the commission ceded American marketing to provincial and regional destination management organizations.

Bernier said the funding cuts were linked to the government’s across-the-board deficit-cutting, but the government predicts a surplus in 2015. “I think together you and I will succeed in convincing my government to invest more in the US”

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He noted improved conditions in the US suggest a more robust market for Canada, including a growth in the number of Americans holding passports and a greater propensity for them to travel abroad.

Bernier also noted inbound tourism has grown from several emerging markets. Compared to the same period last year, for example, the number of visitors from China grew by 30 per cent during the first eight months of 2014. Growth was also seen from India and Mexico, he noted.

These have been the result of improved visitor access, he added.

Rob Taylor, interim president of TIAC, said he was pleased to hear the minister’s promise of money for US promotion, but urged the 300 conference delegates not to take it for granted. “We must continue to put pressure on our Members of Parliament and ministers to make sure it happens.”

The conference continues through Wednesday night.

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