Canada's Federal Tourism Strategy: Welcoming the World

Photo of teepees at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Credit: Northwest Territories Tourism

Message from the Minister of State

Photo of the Honourable Maxime Bernier. Credit: Office of the Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

As Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), it is my pleasure to introduce the Federal Tourism Strategy. As one of the greatest places in the world to live, work and invest, Canada is also one of the best places on the planet to travel. Our country has a lot to offer visitors, and through the Federal Tourism Strategy, our government is committed to growing tourism in Canada.

The Strategy is the result of significant collaboration among more than 15 federal departments and agencies. I'd like to thank my Cabinet colleagues and their departments for their help in developing it and for their support as we continue to work together on matters that impact the tourism sector.

Our priorities are firmly guided by what we have heard from members of the tourism sector across Canada. An open dialogue with business has defined the opportunities and challenges facing Canada's visitor economy. I'd like to thank the Tourism Industry Association of Canada in particular for its important contributions. The Strategy will build on this open and cooperative partnership with the tourism industry.

The Strategy signals a fundamental shift in how the federal government considers the issues and opportunities surrounding tourism. It puts into action a whole-of-government approach that applies a tourism lens to policy and program development and focuses future tourism investments on priority areas.

The time is right to launch this new approach. Federal actions supported the tourism industry through the economic downturn, and the sector continues to be resilient in the face of frequently volatile environments. We have the strongest tourism brand in the world. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games demonstrated to the world the warm and welcoming spirit of Canadians and the great variety of world-class tourism experiences available from coast to coast to coast. The 2011 Royal Tour by their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, further heightened global exposure and interest in Canada.

As we build on this momentum, the Federal Tourism Strategy provides the scope and direction for our government to effectively maximize opportunities for Canada to welcome the world.

Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)