December Update – MCC VP Retiring

Recently, Mardi Schueler, OMCA and MCC Vice President, announced her retirement from the association effective December 31, 2022. Mardi officially started at OMCA in January 2012 but was involved as a member for decades prior. Her legacy with the association will not be forgotten and we, the team and the industry, owe Mardi a debt of gratitude for her contributions to our association and our sector. Please join me in Congratulating Mardi on her well-deserved retirement.


As we wind down 2022, the association continues to gain traction with governments and industry stakeholders alike. The association presented on panels at both the TIAO and TIAC conferences and successfully hosted our first in-person Marketplace since 2019. Ministers from Transportation and Tourism showed support for our members by greeting delegates with personal and industry focussed messages. The association was invited to present to the Federal Government’s Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities as they study the effects of the pandemic on Canada’s Inter-City Bus sector. This presentation allowed the association to discuss the economic importance of the Motor Coach industry to Canada and profile the support needed to recover from the past two years.

Planning is well underway for 2023 and as an industry, we have much to look forward to. For the association, 2023 we will be focused on rebuilding our membership and growing back stronger. If you are not a member, please reach out today to discuss membership.  I’d like to personally thank all our members for your support. Because of you, our association can continue to influence governments and get results for the group tour and motor coach sector.

October Update from the MCC President

Posted October 6th, 2022

The association was pleased that the Government of lifted its pandemic border restrictions completely on October 1st, including the mandatory use of ArriveCAN. This removed major barriers in recovery for our members. The association has been calling on Ottawa to drop the mandatory use of ArriveCan and ease border measures. Now, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • submit quarantine and vaccination information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • provide proof of vaccination;
  • undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving in Canada.

Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements. As of October 1, 2022, travellers will no longer be required to:

  • undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
  • wear masks on planes and trains

The association submitted our recommendations to the Federal government for its 2023 pre-budget consultations. We will continue to call on the government for continued support for our members as we recover from the financial burden caused by the pandemic. Thank you to all of our members for supporting the association and the work we do on your behalf. Please note that our membership is by calendar year and we will be reaching out to members in January with 2023 membership renewals. We look forward to continuing to provide value for your membership and to growing the association membership, our advocacy efforts and our events in 2023 and beyond.

Thank you,
Vince Accardi, President

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