Ottawa, June 16, 2014—The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), made the following statement at the start of Tourism Week, which runs from June 16 to 20:
"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of tourism for the country's economic development. Every day, entrepreneurs in our communities are working hard to contribute to the success of this industry by creating jobs and growth.
"Last year, tourism industry revenue in Canada grew by 3 percent, reaching an unprecedented $84 billion and accounting for over 618,000 jobs. We continue to have one of the strongest country brands in the world. Our spectacular natural beauty and world-class attractions continue to attract visitors from around the globe. In addition, sustained growth in some emerging markets is creating favourable conditions for the increasing development of the tourism sector. The number of visitors from China, for example, grew by over 22 percent last year!
"We recognize the increased competition that this sector is facing worldwide. To be successful, Canada's tourism industry must innovate and adapt to offer the compelling experiences that travellers are seeking. Our government continues working with industry partners to ensure that Canada remains a top destination of choice for international travellers.
"We also understand that one of the reasons that our tourism industry is successful is the warmth of our people. I hope you make the most of Tourism Week and the summer months to celebrate Canada's attractions and to encourage your friends and family to keep exploring the many destinations available to visitors everywhere across the country.
"As our country approaches its 150th anniversary in 2017, our government is building on its commitment, and we will continue to work with tourism stakeholders to help realize Canada's full potential as one of the world's premier tourism destinations."
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For further information (media only), please contact:
Laurence Gagnon d'Entremont
Office of the Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)