$16 Billion Ontario Tourism Gap Requires a Dedicated Government Strategy

Toronto, ON, November 17, 2016: Today, the Milton Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has released new data that reveals a significant tourism opportunity gap when compared to international growth rates. According to the organization’s report, Closing the Tourism Gap: Creating a Long-Term Advantage for Ontario, Ontario has foregone nearly $16 billion in visitor spending between 2006 and 2012 by not keeping up with global growth trends. While this year has been a strong year for tourism in Ontario, it is important that this recent growth is translated into long-term, sustainable gains in tourism visitation.

“The tourism industry is an important economic driver in Milton as well as in many other communities across the province,” said Teresa Fujarczuk, President of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. “However, through research outlined in this report, we’ve found that Ontario is missing out on significant tourism growth in comparison to international trends. Our local industry and the province as a whole must take steps to boost our reputation as a global destination for foreign visitors and close the tourism gap.”

The Milton Chamber of Commerce’s report identifies a number of challenges faced by tourism operators and the broader tourism community in Ontario, while presenting a series of action items to address them. The Milton Chamber is encouraged that the government is moving ahead with an action plan for the province’s tourism industry, a key consideration highlighted by its membership.

The Milton Chamber of Commerce’s report is clear about the need for any provincial strategy to include measurable targets, a practice currently employed by many successful tourism destinations. These targets would help to organize and coordinate tourism activities amongst the diverse group of public and private tourism organizations in Ontario, another key recommendation of the report.

“Ontario’s tourism sector needs a dedicated strategy driven by the provincial government that not only promotes tourism within Ontario, but also focuses on drawing in visitors from around the world,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “If we can do this successfully, the province will achieve substantial economic gains while keeping up with global growth trends.”

To produce this report, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce convened a group of Ontario’s leading thinkers within the tourism community. The report builds on previous initiatives undertaken by members of the tourism industry and further substantiates the need for a focused and measured approach targeted towards supporting the future of tourism in Ontario.

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Read the Closing the Tourism Gap report

Learn more about the Milton Chamber of Commerce: www.miltonchamber.ca.
Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce: www.occ.ca.

Milton Chamber of Commerce Media Contact:
Krista Lenardon-Trull
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Milton Chamber of Commerce
T: 905-878-0581
E: krista@miltonchamber.ca

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Media Contact:
Michelle Kelly
Senior Communications Advisor
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
T: 416.482.5222 ext. 2410
E: michellekelly@occ.ca