Tourism Labour Action Plan for 2018: Action 1

Reinforce value proposition beyond economic benefits, with a focus on social capital and cohesion, and promotion of multiculturalism and Canadian identity.

Tourism HR Canada has often used the statement “Tourism is vital to Canada’s economy; it is a key driver of socio-economic progress” to help distinguish the sector over others facing labour shortages.

Current data shows how investing in tourism is good business. All sizes of businesses, governments, and communities benefit from stable revenue-generating and employment prospects. In many cases, tourism has transformed local economies, enabling them to recover from sectors that have diminished or been wiped out.

Forum participants carefully considered what distinguished tourism over other sectors, making it a great destination for employment and career prospects—and further reinforcing why increased investment by governments and businesses will be lucrative.

Their thoughts?

  • Tourism is a main contributor to culture and heritage. It has a highly diversified workforce—much more so than most other economic sectors—and employs many people in their first Canadian job. Tourism operators invest in training to enable people to gain the language skills, Canadian workplace experience, and job-related skills that enable them to enter the workforce.
  • Tourism is well known for responsible environmental management or stewardship. The product or service offer from many tourism businesses is based on a sustainable business development model. Tourism businesses factor in land use planning and conservation, waste reduction, and being eco-efficient to help reduce ecological impacts. For many, their reputation and the very ‘experience’ they offer capitalizes on the fact that they are environmental stewards.
  • Tourism contributes to political stability. Scholars have long studied how tourism is a means for political and ideological goals. For example, Edgell (1990) asserts that “the highest purpose of tourism policy is to integrate the economic, political, cultural, and intellectual benefits of tourism cohesively with people, destinations, and countries to improve global quality of life and provide a foundation for peace and prosperity.” In many ways, the Canadian tourism brand is built on a reputation of political stability and its safe and secure conditions.
  • Consequently, tourism is synonymous with Canada’s identity. It embodies the very values or ideals that define the Canadian culture.

Labour Market Forum participants were asked to provide one “persuasive statement that reinforces tourism’s unique value proposition”. Many ideas were presented. Below are a few examples for each of the key stakeholder groups:

  1. Funding agencies, governments and policy stakeholders:
    • Tourism Builds Canada
    • #TourismMatters
  2. Job seekers:
    • Tourism is a life experiencelive your dream.
    • Careers in tourism take you places.
    • We make good times happen.
  3. Parents, guidance counsellors, and other influencers:
    • You can do anything in tourism.
    • Life skills and experiences that take you places.

Participants also discussed ways to better coordinate and communicate the value proposition, with the aim of working towards a common, cohesive message.

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