Tourism is the world’s fifth fastest-growing industry and growing at five percent per year. A recent story on CBC Radio this week suggests growth has been even higher for Canada, thanks to our lower Loonie: at least six percent.
According to the Tourism Association of Canada, in 2013, Canada’s tourism industry:
- Represented more of Canada’s GDP than agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined
- Generated $88.5 billion in economic activity
- Was responsible for more than $17.2 billion in export revenue despite a growing travel deficit
- Generated $9.6 billion in federal government revenue
- Fostered 628 000 jobs across the country, spread across all 308 ridings
Tourism is BIG. Ontario’s festivals, events and attractions generate $28 billion and support 347,000 jobs each year. Festivals and events alone generate $2.3 billion in Ontario and support almost 50,000 jobs – and generate approximately $1 billion in taxes.
For Collingwood and the region, tourism and our hospitality sector are not merely important to our economic vitality: they are crucial. So what do Collingwood’s five proposed vision statements say about tourism, events, hospitality and recreation as growth drivers and employers? What do they say about the economic importance of tourism? Here it is:
Pretty profound, wouldn’t you say? Perhaps it’s a Zen-like statement and we are supposed to infer meaningful content from the very emptiness. Or perhaps the committee just forgot all about tourism in the region. Or maybe they couldn’t find a sufficiently saccharine adjective to pair with it.