Minister Joly highlights the economic potential of tourism for the middle class

News release

New report sets out possibility of job creation, economic growth in Canadian communities

December 10, 2018 – Toronto, Ontario

Canada’s tourism sector plays an important part in the Canadian economy, supporting more than 1.8 million jobs in rural and urban communities. Unlocking the potential of the thriving global tourism industry could create 180,000 new jobs that would support the Government of Canada’s plan to grow the middle class.

That was the message delivered today by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.

Minister Joly was accompanied by Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company. Mr. Barton presented a summary of Unlocking the Potential of Canada’s Visitor Economy, a report released today by Destination Canada, a Crown corporation that promotes Canada’s tourism brand internationally.

The report provides a competiveness assessment of Canada’s tourism sector and identifies the challenges, including structural barriers, that must be addressed before the industry can realize its full potential. In addition, the report forecasts certain gains that could benefit the tourism sector under the right conditions. For example, the number of visitors coming to Canada could increase to 47 million by 2030, which would result in up to $25 billion in new revenues. This increase would translate into an additional 110,000 to 180,000 jobs across the country.

The evidence provided in the report will be a key source of information for the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, helping shape its advice and recommendations for a new federal tourism strategy.

The Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy is chaired by Frank McKenna, a former premier of New Brunswick who played an important role in the province’s tourism sector. The Council is made up of business owners, entrepreneurs, tourism operators, labour leaders and professionals whose diverse views will help inform the future of tourism in Canada.


“The visitor economy represents one of Canada’s most important growth opportunities. If we want to take full advantage of tourism’s economic potential, we need people in all sectors, from business to government, to play an active role. Our combined efforts will lead to hundreds of thousands of new jobs, greater prosperity in rural and urban regions across the country, and the chance to showcase all that Canada has to offer to the people of the world.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Quick facts

  • Tourism creates jobs and opportunities that support middle-class families in all regions of Canada.

  • Tourism is the largest employment source for youth and a major source of employment for new Canadians.

  • It is Canada’s most important service export, representing over 2% of our GDP.

  • In 2017, domestic tourists generated over $76 billion in revenues and international tourists generated more than $21 billion in revenues.

Associated links


Follow @cdntourism on social media for tourism-related news and join the conversation using #tourism and #jobs: Twitter, Instagram

Jeremy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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