Federal Tourism Growth Strategy Submissions

In May, The Honourable Randy Boissonneault, Federal Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) launched a public consultation for a new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

MCC submitted our recommendations early and the association has had the opportunity to meet with Minister Boissonneault, the ISED team and our advocacy partners directly to outline the support our sector needs through recovery. We are pleased that some of our recommendations were included or strongly allied with those from the Tourism Industry Associations of Canada (TIAC), Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and the Hardest Hit Business Coalition (HHC).  All submissions can be found below. The association will continue to work directly with ISED and the Minister’s team as they work to finalize the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

Thank you for your membership – it is your contributions to the association that supports our advocacy.

If your organization submitted comments to this consultation, please share them with MCC President directly.

Submissions:

MCC/OMCA:
https://www.motorcoachcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/MCC-Tourism-Growth-Strategy-Submission-June-27th.pdf

TIAC:
https://tiac-aitc.ca/_Library/Tourism_Growth_Strategy/TIAC_Submission_Re_TGS_Consultations.pdf

TIAO:
https://silkstart.s3.amazonaws.com/d5a01d62-405c-4176-9655-f9e71e4051a1.pdf

Hardest Hit Coalition:
https://www.hardesthit.ca/_files/ugd/e60474_d9e2c6387c644892980495ddc654bd55.pdf

August Update from the MCC President

August 5th, 2022

Tourism and charter bookings are showing signs of life as the economy opens and consumers are gaining the confidence needed to secure trips. Although international travel continues gain momentum, the association continues to work with governments to help facilitate the movement of tourists across borders by removing barriers caused by ArriveCan requirements, random testing, and remaining restrictions in place for non vaccinated.

Around 80 per cent of tourism spending in both the US and in Canada in a normal year comes from domestic demand. With some destinations having close to 40 per cent of pre-pandemic tourism spending coming from international tourists.

Data is now showing that travellers are sticking closer to home. As a result, the potential group market within driving distances is almost 1 million people larger than usual. Pre-covid, spending on tourism was almost twice as much on long-haul fly-in international trips. Thus, re-directing some of that spending to group friendly destinations closer to home greatly supports North American recovery. Demand for summer and fall is looking strong. Early data is already pointing to green shoots emerging with spending on hotels, restaurants, as confidence in vaccination effectiveness accelerate and worldwide restrictions continue to be eliminated.

Should the group travel segment continue to benefit from the renewed interest in traveling closer to home while we continue to benefit from rebounding inbound international visitations and spend, our industry should expect to see a strong 2023 and beyond.

Vince Accardi, President

July Update from MCC President

In June, the association had the opportunity to meet directly with MP Vance Badawey, Senator Karen Sorensen and the Minister of Transport of Canada, Omar Alghabra. On behalf of our members, we continue to advocate and educate government officials on our industry and the policy measures needed to support recovery and growth. 

MCC has submitted our recommendations for the renewal of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. In May the government of Canada launched a public consultation where Minister Boissonneault is working with the tourism sector, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous tourism partners to renew the strategy and set a new course for recovery, investment and stability. MCC is encouraging members to align with our advocacy asks and submit their own
recommendations to the government.

The association is in full planning mode for the Ontario Transportation Expo happening in Toronto on July 18-20th. Our annual Golf Tournament in Niagara Falls is on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022 and our Marketplace in November. Although these events are Ontario based, all MCC members are welcome to attend and participate. Registration is open and sponsorship
opportunities are available.  Please contact info@motorcoachcanada.com to register.

Finally, if you are reading our newsletter and you are not a current member of the association. Please join us today. It is our member’s support that allows us to advocate to governments for business support and policies that will enable recovery and growth.

Thank you,

Vince Accardi, President, MCC

Message from Vince Accardi, MCC President – May 6th, 2022

As we head into our summer travel session, MCC continues to advocate on behalf of our members and continues to meet with interested MPs and Ministers responsible for transportation and tourism. This past week, I met with the Transportation critic, MP Lantsman and the office of tourism critic, MP Ferreri.

After a lacklustre budget, MCC and many partners are regrouping to determine how we keep pressure on the federal government and secure business support and loan forgiveness for members. Budget 2022 did commit to a new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. MCC has been proactive and secured meetings to fully understand how that strategy will be developed and how MCC can influence a component that relates to our members.

Planning for the Ontario Transportation Expo – July 17th – 20th, OMCA Golf Tournament – Tuesday August 23rd and OMCA’s Marketplace – November 13-16th are in full swing. Please remember to save the date and register early. Please contact the team should you wish to join us or for sponsorship opportunities. Motor Coach Canada members in good standing have preferred registration pricing for these events.

A reminder that Tourism Week is coming up May 29-June 4; this is the perfect opportunity for members to reach out to your MP and let them know what recovery looks like for your business and region.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.

Government of Canada aims to restart cruise ship season in Canada

Motor Coach Canada and other industry leaders called on the government for a roadmap for resuming cruises, which are vital to the Canadian economy. That call has been answered!

Canada’s Minister of Transportation, Omar Alghabra announced today that the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that, as of November 1, 2021, the prohibition of cruise ships in Canadian waters would no longer be in effect if operators are able to fully comply with public health requirements.

Read the full news release at:

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-aims-to-restart-cruise-ship-season-in-canada-873472823.html

MCC President’s Message – June 25th

Last week the government announced the first steps to reopening the Canadian border. This move was welcomed and long-overdue, but it falls far short of the comprehensive plan that MCC and many other associations have been calling for. We will continue to advocate for a transparent plan with clear benchmarks to reopen the border. MCC is disappointed that the government hasn’t provided clear benchmarks for border reopening to our members and Canadians. We will continue to add pressure and insist that we have a plan.

Both the Federal and Ontario governments look to kick off their summer breaks this week under speculations that they may not return before elections are called. With the continued traction and ramping up of the vaccination rollout over the summer, legislators will be spending the next few months reconnecting with constituents in their ridings on the BBQ circuit. This refers to the summer activities of Canadian politicians during the breaks from parliament and the provincial legislatures, and involves attending many community events to meet constituents. Although Covid will have changed some of these activities, they will provide our members with the opportunity to bump elbows with their elected officials and tell them directly what support the motor coach industry needs from them. It’s also a time when members can remind them about the economic impact of your company and the jobs in their riding that have been affected. 

This week David Coletto from Abacus Data released their latest report on the Canadian political landscape.  Key takeaways include; 1. If a federal election were held now, the Liberals would win 37% of the vote, the Conservatives 27%, the NDP 18%, the Green Party 5% and the BQ would get 39% in Quebec. The Liberals are up 3 points since mid-June, the Conservatives are down 2, and at the lowest vote share in over four years. And 2. The Liberals have a 13-point lead in Ontario, with 42% compared to 29% for the Conservatives and 19% for the NDP.

This polling data and the fact that election talks have started makes our advocacy work over the summer month vital for our association’s members. We will continue to raise our sectors profile, tell your stories, and provide government officials with the information they need to help our members. I encourage you to connect with your elected officials formally or informally (on the BBQ circuit) this summer. Collectively, we will ensure that our sector’s voice is heard.

Thank you for your ongoing support and for your commitment to our association.
Vince Accardi

COVID-19 TRAVEL TOOL KIT

An updated version of Canada’sCOVID-19 Travel Tool Kit was released in on September 7, 2021 (see below).

ABOUT THE TOOL KIT

The digital engagement kit contains:

  • Travel information for individuals arriving to Canada by air or land
  • Information on testing and quarantine requirements
  • Information on exemptions from testing and quarantine requirements
  • Information on exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers
  • Links to COVID-19 Resources
  • Links to social media, for the latest news and updates
  • Links to Digital Tools to help travellers
  • Information about the Canada wordmark and how the tool kit resources can be used

HOW TO USE THE TOOL KIT

All of the links and information in this tool kit are publicly available resources. This guide is meant to be a collection of some of the most commonly requested and most useful resources that travellers to Canada will need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel free to share links and resources with your partners and clients. GoC also encourages you to share the included links and resources on your social media channels, newsletters, or websites to help ensure that the public is receiving important information that is accurate and up-to-date.

Roadmap for resuming cruise vital to Canadian economy

Uncertainty over cruise industry in Canada leaves thousands of jobs at risk

June 22, 2021, Vancouver, BC – Tourism, business, labour, and cruise industry leaders have come together to call on the Government of Canada to take immediate action to signal the safe restart of Canada’s multi-billion-dollar cruise ship industry.  

With more than 17,000 jobs in British Columbia alone at risk, a coalition of industry partners is asking Ottawa to send a clear signal that Canada is open for safe cruise service and tourism by announcing a scalable restart of the cruise industry and rescinding the order on the suspension of cruise in Canada by the end of the year.

“This is about clarity, certainty, and confidence for the cruise industry, tourism operators, and the thousands of British Columbians who depend on this vital industry,” said Walt Judas, CEO of Tourism Industry Association of BC. “The cruise and tourism industry has been battered by the pandemic and now it is being challenged with further uncertainty. Providing a clear and immediate roadmap for the safe resumption of Canadian cruise in 2022 is essential to the many businesses and jobs the cruise industry supports.”

Direct communication of a roadmap to resumption is critical because the cruise industry and their passengers are currently making plans for 2022. Industry and tourism partners have been advocating for months on the importance of developing and sharing plans for the safe resumption of cruise in Canadian waters to instill confidence in Canada’s cruise services. While the health and safety of the public, passengers, and crew remain the top priority, complex decisions for what needs to happen to safely restart cruise service must be made immediately.

“We need to have the full reopening plan for the borders released as soon as possible,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “We know we have missed the 2021 summer cruise season because of the pandemic, but BC can rebound for 2022 if Transport Canada indicates that they will fully rescind the suspension of cruise ships later this fall.”

The Government of Canada announcement on the relaxation of the quarantine requirement for fully-vaccinated Canadians returning home is a small first step toward a full reopening of the border in the months ahead. However, it is important that the reopening plan addresses plans for the marine borders. Further uncertainty around the cruise industry and the thousands of workers who depend on it will be created by not including the marine borders in the reopening plans.

The cruise industry generates $4.3 billion in total output, with $2.7 billion contributed to the BC economy alone, and supports 30,000 jobs across Canada, including food and beverage suppliers, hotels, retailers, taxis, visitor destinations, port workers, and maintenance contractors.

The call for Government of Canada action comes as U.S. lawmakers are considering a permanent change which would allow Alaska-bound cruise ships to bypass BC destinations such as Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, and Prince Rupert.

“If the U.S. efforts succeed, that represents an approximately quarter-million lost hours for the longshore workforce across the province,” said Rob Ashton, President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union of Canada, “The cruise industry creates sustained and well-paying jobs for our members, which in turn helps to stimulate the BC and Canadian economies. A strong and clear plan from government is needed to assure our workforce that their jobs not only matter but are invaluable to this country’s economic recovery.” 

This request is made on behalf of the following organizations which are collectively asking Transport Canada to immediately and clearly indicate that they will rescind the ban on cruise ships in Canadian waters before the end of 2021, assuming all health and safety measures are taken:

  • BC Hotel Association – Ingrid Jarrett, CEO 
  • Business Council of BC – Greg D’Avignon, CEO
  • BC Marine Terminal Operators Association – Stephanie Jones, CEO
  • British Columbia Maritime Employers Association – Mike Leonard, CEO
  • Destination Greater Victoria – Paul Nursey, CEO
  • Greater Vancouver Board of Trade – Bridgitte Anderson, CEO
  • Greater Victoria Harbour Authority – Ian Robertson, CEO
  • Great Victoria Chamber of Commerce – Bruce Williams – CEO
  • Victoria Cruise Industry Alliance – Anna Poustie, Chair
  • International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada – Rob Ashton, President 
  • Motor Coach Canada – Vince Accardi, President 
  • Tourism Industry Association of Canada – Beth Potter, President & CEO
  • Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia – Walt Judas, CEO

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Media contacts:

For Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
Brian Cant, Manager, Communications: 250-888-8729 or bcant@gvha.ca

For Tourism Industry Association of BC
Laura Plant, Manager of Communication and Membership: 778-788-3499 or lplant@tiabc.ca

For International Longshore and Warehouse Union – Canada
Rob Ashton, President: 604-862-8141

Read the original news release at https://gvha.ca/about-gvha/newsroom/roadmap-for-resuming-cruise-vital-to-canadian-economy/