July 4, 2023 (Ottawa, Ontario) – The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, today announced the Government of Canada’s new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, highlighting key priorities and targets to enhance the visitor economy. Given the widespread labour challenges faced by tourism operators across the country, Tourism HR Canada is pleased to see the Strategy emphasize the importance of a robust workforce, with specific actions that seek to address skills and training, diversity and inclusion, infrastructure, and immigration.
Tourism HR Canada President and CEO Philip Mondor was among the invited tourism sector representatives at the announcement. The organization submitted a suite of workforce-related recommendations as part of the consultation phase of the Strategy’s development, from recruitment and retention to skills development to worker and learner mobility.
“The Federal Tourism Growth Strategy recognizes the importance of tourism’s workforce to the Canadian economy and the overall value proposition that makes this sector unique,” says Mondor. “It is characterized in terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It contributes to cultural reclamation and sustainable and regenerative approaches. It offers employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in every corner of the country. Tourism and its workforce are too often undervalued; we welcome the Strategy’s appreciation of the people who make our experiences shine and its commitment to actions and investments that will support them—and entice others to join them.”
The Strategy will shape Tourism HR Canada’s strategic planning as it pursues initiatives and research to position Canada’s tourism sector as a destination for employment. While the sector has seen employment rebound to 90% of its pre-pandemic levels, a shortage of over 80,000 workers is hampering its full recovery and impeding Canada’s competitiveness as a global tourist destination.
“We thank the Government of Canada for consulting with tourism stakeholders across the country as it crafted this Strategy,” states Darlene Grant Fiander, Chairperson of the Tourism HR Canada Board of Directors, President of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, and Executive Director of the Tourism Human Resource Council of Nova Scotia. “Rebuilding the tourism workforce is of top concern to our sector. Collective efforts are required to ensure Canada has the talent to provide authentic, memorable experiences to our visitors. The establishment of the Ministerial Tourism Growth Council outlined in the Strategy will greatly aid in addressing systemic and structural challenges such as housing and transportation.”
A vital economic driver, tourism employs over two million Canadians, with 1 in 10 jobs across the country related to tourism. Tourism spending in Canada in 2019 was $105 billion; this is expected to fully recover in 2024. The Strategy sets a 2030 target to increase the sector’s contribution to Canada’s GDP by 40%, to $61 billion, along with a related sizeable increase in jobs—provided the talent to fill them is available right across the country. Tourism HR Canada will continue to work with the Government of Canada and national and provincial/territorial tourism organizations to support the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
About Tourism HR Canada:
Tourism HR Canada is a pan-Canadian organization with a mandate aimed at building a world-leading tourism workforce. It facilitates, coordinates, and enables human resource development activities that support a globally competitive and sustainable industry and foster the development of a resilient, competitive, and inclusive workforce. The organization works with the industry to attract, train, and retain valuable tourism professionals by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers and entrepreneurial endeavours. Learn more at TourismHR.ca.