An update from CEO Kevin Mouflier on the 2019 Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Tourism Congress
I recently attended the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s annual Tourism Congress. During this three-day event held November 18 – 20 were several very interesting and relevant presentations. Prior to the start of the Congress, the Provincial and Territorial Tourism Industry Associations met with TIAC staffers and included discussion on the Canadian Experience Fund Project.
Through this initiative TIAC will develop and host a pan-Canadian Tourism capacity-building series of summits in rural and secondary markets to assist SMEs, DMO’s and other organizations in building awareness and capacity in high potential growth opportunities for the shoulder and winter seasons as well as culinary tourism. Both winter/shoulder tourism and culinary tourism have been specifically identified in the most recent Federal Budget as requiring development and support to seize opportunities to expand Canada’s tourism potential.
The Canadian Experiences fund, which represents a financial commitment of $58.5M over two years, has been designed to help bolster Canada’s tourism expansion in potential growth areas including culinary and winter/shoulder season development. TIAC will partner with Provincial and Territorial Tourism Industry Associations (PTTIAs) and other partners in provinces that do not have their own tourism industry associations, to identify rural regional markets in each Province or Territory where capacity –building in culinary and winter/shoulder tourism is identified as a priority. TIAC has already entered discussions with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Tourism HR Canada (THRC) to seek out opportunities to collaborate and coordinate summits/sessions with subject matter experts who are developing content and programming in the following areas:
THRC and Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to deliver tools and workshop content related to LGBTQ and inclusiveness; and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to deliver tools and workshop content related to building capacity in market readiness for indigenous business.
I am pleased to advise tourism operators and stakeholders on PEI that TIAPEI will be participating in this initiative and work will begin on organizing a one-day workshop on PEI in the New Year. Stay tuned for details!
There was a strong focus on Sustainable Tourism during this year’s Congress. Climate change was referenced frequently throughout the three days, as well as labour shortages and short-term rentals. TIAC has also confirmed that this year, prior to the Federal Budget release in February, TIAC and the PTTIAs will hold its annual Lobbying on the Hill Days on February 3 & 4, 2020 in Ottawa. This is 2 full days of meeting with MP’s and Senator’s across the Country to Advocate national issues affecting industry across the country. This includes teams with my counterparts meeting with various appointments throughout the 2-day period with a focus on key messaging. Here is a look at some key facts about the tourism industry in Canada
I always return to PEI from these conferences energized and excited about the potential for tourism growth in Canada and what it can mean for our PEI industry members. It is an eye-opening experience to hear how many similar issues face tourism operators across the country and brain-storm ways in which we can support each other to provide world-class experiences for the global traveller. The PTTIAs will continue to meet throughout the year to examine common issues including advocacy commonalities across the Country, destination sustainability, Air Access, and Membership Best Practices to name a few.
Should you wish to learn more about the exciting and enlightening presentations offered at the Tourism Congress, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to share my experience.
Yours in tourism,
Kevin Mouflier, TIAPEI CEO