Time to kickstart this Canadas tourism business/Deal of the day: New England cruise
Finally we're getting some traction.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), has put out a major report that calls for Canada's marketing efforts to be "substantially increased" in the face of massive spending from countries such as Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
The report, called Restoring Canadian Tourism, also cites the tremendously high taxes and fees people have to pay to fly into or out of Canadian airports. Officials called on Ottawa "to conduct a wide-ranging examination of the travel sector with special attention to the very high public costs borne by aviation customers."
They also said that in order to capitalize on potentially strong tourism growth from countries such as Brazil, China, Mexico and India, Canada needs to "ease access headaches" by making it easier to get a visa.
I really hope someone (are you out there, Mr. Trudeau?) picks this up and runs with it, as it's almost criminal to see how far Canada has slipped in terms of attracting tourists.
Back in 2002, Canada was the number seven country on the planet in terms of visitor arrivals, with 20.1 million international visitors. Last year we were way down at 16th, with 16.3 million visits. Yeah, that's right, the world of travel has exploded and Canada has actually LOST international visitors.
So what has the Harper government done to help? Why, they slashed the Canadian Tourism Commission budget by 20 per cent, dropping their allowance down to a measly $58 million. That may seem like a lot of loonies, but it's far below the spending of many of our rivals, and that's what they are in a fight worth fighting. Ireland's global tourism marketing budget for 2011 was $211 million. Australia's was $147 million. Geez, New Zealand is a fraction the size of Canada (just more than 4 million in the 2006 census; smaller than the GTA) and they spent $89 million on global tourism marketing in 2011, the study said.
"The tourism sector is intensely competitive and Canada is not successfully competing," the report said. The report's authors said our country has "failed to respect the growing choices travellers have, and it has failed to fight for its future."
Canadian tourism types have made a show out of saying they're going hard after places like Brazil and China to boost our travel business. Those numbers are improving, but the report notes the base is still quite small. Canada received a 20 per cent increase in Chinese visitors in 2012 from the year before, but that's still only a net increase of 54,000 tourists. Brazil numbers rose seven per cent last year, but there were only an added 6,600 Brazilians coming into Canada.
The U.S., which last year launched a major international tourism campaign, saw its Chinese visits grow by 47 per cent last year and its Brazilian tourism numbers jump 36 per cent.
Tourism is a huge business in Canada, bringing in some $85 billion in benefits to the economy and directly employing more than 600,000 people across the country. That's more jobs than in the oil and gas sector, and we know how much attention those folks get from the Harper government.
Maybe in addition to spending money trying to get a pipeline built to supply tar sands oil to the U.S. we should boost our tourism spending by $40 or $50 million and try to build jobs in a more environmentally friendly manner. The report states that even if we doubled or tripled our tourism marketing budget it would represent only a small part of the revenues lost by the federal government due to the drop in foreign visits over the past 13 years.
Fascinating stuff. Let's pray someone's listening.
AIR CANADA ROUGE
Interesting to see that Air Canada Rouge will be serving some 23 routes this winter. But if you look closely you'll find that almost all the routes are simply ones that Air Canada already flies.
For consumers, it means flights will take place on planes that are more tightly packed and don't have the amenities that Air Canada offers. It would be a fair trade-off if the flights were going to be discounted, but experts quoted in the Star today suggest that's not likely to happen.
So we may end up spending the same amount of money to get to Punta Cana or Jamaica on Air Canada Rouge as we did on Air Canada. And we won't get the same experience.
Air Canada will make more money, however, which is the name of the game in the aviation industry last I checked...
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal today for a great New England cruise, priced at just $1,179, including $195 in taxes.
- JAUNT EXCLUSIVE: $75 Shipboard Credit per stateroom
- 11-Day/9-Night vacation including a 7-Day Canada & New England Cruise sailing aboard the Holland America Maasdam
- Package includes pre or post cruise downtown Montreal accommodations at the Delta Centre-Ville for 2 nights
- Enjoy remarkable service, fine dining and spacious staterooms onboard
- Cruising is a truly unique way to experience the historic and charming East Coast
- Valid for travel on the following departure dates:
- Pre Cruise Stay in Montreal package begins: July 11 & 25; August 8 & 22 and September 5, 2013
- Post Cruise Stay in Montreal package begins: July 20; August 3, 17 & 31 and September 14, 2013
- Cruise departs from either Montreal, Quebec or Boston Massachusetts depending on your choice of pre or post Montreal city stay.
- Ports of call include: Montreal, Quebec; Quebec City, Quebec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Halifax,
Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts
- Includes accommodations, dining and entertainment aboard Holland America Maasdam
- Accommodations on board the Holland America Maasdam available in a Standard Inside (Category NN) or an Interior Large (Category M or K) stateroom
- Pricing (Rates are per person, plus tax):
Pre Cruise Stay in Montreal package pricing:
July 11, 2013 (Category NN):
July 25, 2013 (Category NN):
August 8, 2013 (Category NN):
August 22, 2013 (Category NN):
September 5 2013 (Category NN):
Post Cruise Stay in Montreal package pricing:
July 20, 2013 (Category K):
August 3 & 17, 2013 (Category NN):
August 31, 2013 (Category NN):
September 14, 2013 (Category NN):
For FLIGHTS to Boston or Montreal Call us at 1-855-687-5925.
- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
- This offer is 100% non-refundable at time of booking