SW Associates, LLC: Sustainable Development through Tourism

Canada Launches New Federal Tourism Strategy

Canada has launched a new approach to developing tourism all across the country.

The Government intends to implement a whole-of-government approach to enhance the federal government’s role as an effective partner with industry and other levels of government in support of an internationally competitive tourism sector.

Guiding Principles

Under a new whole-of-government approach, federal departments and agencies will be guided by four principles for sustainable tourism:

  • foster an open and cooperative partnership with the tourism industry;
  • apply a tourism lens to policy and program development;
  • enhance program coherence and accountability among federal departments; and
  • focus future tourism investments on Federal Tourism Strategy priority areas.

Application of these principles to day-to-day decision making and operations will make a difference in outcomes for the tourism industry. To help turn these principles into actions, they will do the following.

3-2 Photo of the Montréal High Lights festival in Montréal, Quebec. Credit: Jean-F. Leblanc/Montreal High Lights festival

Develop a forward agenda for tourism

A key element of their new approach is ongoing communication within government on federal plans and priorities affecting tourism now and in the years to come. Industry Canada will chair a group of senior federal executives to oversee and guide implementation of the Federal Tourism Strategy. The group will develop and maintain an integrated andforward-looking federal tourism agenda that is responsive to market conditions and demands. The agenda will include legislative, regulatory, policy, program and operational initiatives from individual departments and agencies.

Formalize tourism industry engagement

1-Photo of tourists in Grafton, Ontario. Credit: Ontario Tourism 2-Photo of tourists at Mount Stewart, Prince Edward Island. Credit: Tourism PEI/John Sylvester

Engaging the industry will enable it to play a more strategic role with government. Federal departments and agencies will regularly invite members of the industry representing a broad range of perspectives from across the entire sector, including industry leaders, association heads, and tourism business owners and operators, to participate in meetings with senior federal executives. Frequent industry engagement will ensure timely and accurate information exchange, encourage the industry to identify priority issues as they arise and share industry-ledinitiatives, and foster coordinated and collaborative action. This exchange will foster more cohesive industry input to public policy consultations.

Create a tourism business website

A new tourism website will provide the industry with a central portal to get information on relevant federal programs, services and announcements.

Tourism enterprises typically have few employees, and operators lack the time and means to develop individual tools to improve their products. To help tourism businesses develop innovative products and services, we have already made some 100 resources available. These include economic development advice, business development tools, occupational standards, market research and analysis, and a broad range of training materials.

However, this information is spread across numerous government websites. We will build on the single-window approach used by the Canada Business website to give tourism operators quick access to these resources. This approach will facilitate access to federaltourism-related information and tools and will give provinces and territories the option to add their own tourism-related information.

1-Photo of tourists crossing the suspended bridge at Eagle Canyon, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Credit: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership 2-Photo of snowmobilers along snowy path nearing a house in Saskatchewan. Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan/Douglas E. Walker

Coordinate tourism research

To make more effective use of federal research efforts, Industry Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) will convene an annual forum for federal departments and agencies to exchange results of and plans for tourism-related research and analysis, beginning in 2012. We will use the information gathered at this event to identify opportunities for greater collaboration among researchers to ensure that more cohesive analysis informs policy, program and industrial development.

Produce a tourism annual report

To keep the tourism industry and Canadians informed about progress on the Federal Tourism Strategy, the Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) will, starting in 2013, report annually on the concrete measures taken by the federal government. The report will complement existing reporting of federal tourism expenditures. It will also provide an overview of the tourism industry and of the way departments and agencies contribute to the broader,government-wide tourism priorities outlined in the Federal Tourism Strategy.

Click here to download the full strategy.

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