Led nationally by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), and with many complementary regional and local initiatives, Tourism Week is “an annual invitation for all tourism partners to come together to champion and promote Canada’s destinations, tourism businesses, and employees—from coast to coast to coast.”
This year’s theme, Travel now. For work, life, and play!, emphasizes that tourism in Canada is open for business and ready to safely re-welcome travellers from all over the world, whether for pleasure or business.
Tourism could not exist without the welcoming, skilled professionals who provide the human element to a destination. The people who work in tourism bring stories, cultures, and traditions that make our destinations unique and vibrant. Canada is fortunate to have a global reputation for warmth, diversity, and inclusion that makes it a destination of choice for millions of travellers each year. From the front-of-house positions to the back-office staff, there are over 1.9 million people who ensure we deliver on our brand and thoughtfully share our vast array of sights and experiences.
Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate each and every one of these individuals, who have been rocked by two years of uncertainty. Those that learned new skills so businesses could pivot. Those that helped patrons and colleagues stay safe and healthy. Those that upskilled while furloughed. Those that are returning to the sector after needing to shift workplaces. Those that had to transfer their skills to other jobs. Those that are coming into tourism for the very first time.
Let’s take pride in the incredible range of talents that the tourism workforce displays in so many ways, from the detail-oriented front desk agents to creative culinary teams to inspiring heritage interpreters to knowledgeable visitor centre staff to safety-conscious coach drivers, and hundreds of roles beyond these.
Let’s also shine a light on the many individuals whose work plays a role on a traveller’s journey, even if they never meet: the destination marketers, the HR managers, the content creators, the maintenance crews, the IT specialists, the training consultants, the event coordinators, the operations teams, and all the people working behind the scenes to provide a smooth, memorable trip.
As we watch the tourism workforce continue to recover and grow, our ongoing sector-wide, pan-Canadian collaboration to support a skilled workforce and plan smart, sustainable labour strategies will be instrumental in the industry’s success. Tourism’s flexibility in its mix of full-time, permanent to part-time, seasonal work is a strength and we must build up our reputation as a destination for meaningful (and fun!) employment.