This is good news for ITAC and our members. Tourism is now the 7th economic strategy for the Federal Government and having tourism finally recognized for its impact on economic development is important. Destination Canada has confirmed stable funding at $95.5 million with an additional $5 million invested in marketing domestic travel. The more Canadians experience Indigenous tourism across the country, the more ambassadors we will have for all of our marketing efforts.
Significant new funding ($58.2 million) is being invested in industry development, specifically for tourism and ITAC will continue to work closely with the Regional Development Agencies to help leverage this funding for our stakeholders. This is a new program entitled “Canadian Experiences Fund” and one of the key priorities is Indigenous tourism.
We are also particularly pleased to see new funding for labour and skills development on top of ESDC receiving $130 million for new partnerships. We suspect many of our stakeholders will also benefit from the $18 million of new investment for Parks Canada.
We can assure our members and partners that ITAC and the Federal Government with Minister Joly’s office continue to work towards new investments for our 2019-2024 Acceleration Strategy. The new Federal support for tourism can support these tactics and our Acceleration Strategy is expected to be part of the new Federal Tourism Strategy planning to be finalized this spring and therefore not included fully in the budget.
ITAC will remain vigilant in pushing Indigenous funding needs forward, as our positive growth and increasing international demand for our experiences will drive new growth in the tourism industry throughout Canada.
ITAC’s next steps will be to continue to work with our Provincial and Territorial partners to access funding and also continue to promote the huge economic benefits ITAC’s Acceleration Strategy will yield by 2024.
Click here to review the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s response.