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New Federal Tourism Growth Strategy Addresses Skills and Labour Challenges

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced a bold new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

With extensive input from tourism stakeholders across Canada, Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy builds on the sector’s tireless work that has led to back-to-back record-breaking years for international visitation and addresses challenges to maintaining this momentum, including labour and skills shortages. A whole-of-government approach and a focus on building public-private collaboration will foster continued growth and innovation and lead to targeted solutions.

Accounting for 1.8 million jobs—10% of total Canadian employment—in every part of the country, tourism plays a key role in regional development and has helped transform communities affected by declining industries. With diverse, flexible employment options, it is a key entry point to the workforce for youth and employs a higher proportion of under-represented groups than the overall economy.

“The Federal Tourism Growth Strategy showcases the key economic role tourism plays in Canada’s communities,” stated Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “Tourism’s ability to grow and compete in an increasingly crowded global marketplace is dependent on its ability to attract and retain qualified workers. The partnership approach woven into the Strategy will help ensure Canada has a world-leading tourism workforce by encouraging all stakeholders to support skills development and position tourism as a destination for employment.”

The Strategy sets economic impact targets for 2025: a 25% increase in revenues, 54,000 new jobs, and growth that outpaces that of the national economy. Core to these goals are to expand the tourist season beyond the summer and to draw tourists outside the three major tourism centres of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

It also details specific initiatives that support Tourism HR Canada as it improves the quality and mobility of the tourism workforce and supplies tourism businesses with the labour market intelligence they need to plan for and overcome human resource challenges. These include:

  • Destination Employment Program: Expansion of this pilot project that assists both newcomers in gaining job experience in the tourism sector in Canada and employers in overcoming labour shortages and diversifying their workplaces.
  • Sectoral Initiatives Program: Multi-year project funding to develop research, labour market information, forecasts, competency frameworks, and other assistance to support human resource planning, skills development, worker certification, and related tools for the tourism sector.
  • LGBTQ2 Workshops: A series of training workshops to better support the LGBTQ2 tourism sector and help tourism operators build their capacity to welcome more LGBTQ2 travellers to Canada.
  • Tourism Market- and Export-Ready Program for Chinese Visitors: Online learning and training sessions to help small and medium-sized enterprises succeed in attracting Chinese visitors.

“We welcome these investments in building a resilient and inclusive labour market,” continued Mondor. “Through these and other projects, the Tourism HR Canada team looks forward to working with partners across Canada to help meet the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy targets and build a thriving tourism destination. Facilitating this collaboration: key elements of the Strategy align with Tourism HR Canada’s recently released Strategic Plan.”

“By providing tourism professionals with specialized and emerging skills, we strengthen our country’s 250,000 tourism businesses, allowing them to respond to global demands and offer visitors memorable, transformative experiences,” Mondor concluded.

View Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy here.

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