As part of Budget 2022, the Federal Government announced their intent to create a new, post-pandemic Tourism Growth Strategy. To accomplish this goal, the Federal Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault, embarked on a series of roundtable sessions with tourism stakeholders to gather input for this new Tourism Growth Strategy. In addition to these consultations, written submissions from the industry have been solicited and encouraged. The deadline for these submissions is August 3, 2022.
After securing the inclusion of the exhibition industry as eligible businesses in the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) in late 2021, CAEM has been working to capitalize on the momentum from this hard fought win to ensure our sector continues to be recognized as a key economic driver in the tourism industry.
Since the announcement of the consultation process for the Tourism Growth Strategy, CAEM has been working closely with our government relations firm Crestview Strategy to secure an invitation to one of Minister Boissonnault's roundtable sessions as well as crafting a written submission. We are pleased to report that CAEM's Executive Director, Jennifer Allaby and Past President, Bianca Kennedy participated in the Business & Urban Tourism: Federal Tourism Growth Strategy Roundtable with Minister Boissonnault on July 25th. This proved an excellent opportunity to educate the Minister about the unique features of our industry and the challenges we continue to face as we slowly move towards recovery. Our main goal in participating in this session was to secure a commitment that trade and consumer shows will be included in the Tourism Growth Strategy and Minister Boissonnault assured us our sector would not be forgotten.
We were also able to share the key asks contained in our written Tourism Growth Strategy submission with the Minister during this session. Those are as follows:
- Introduce a targeted tax credit for eligible Small and Medium Businesses who exhibit at trade shows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences, or conventions.
- Invest in skills development training and promoting the tourism and business events industry as a viable employment opportunity for students and newcomers to Canada.
You will find the CAEM's Tourism Growth Strategy submission here.
CAEM continues to be involved on the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses and met with this group on July 26th as they finalize their submission for the Tourism Growth Strategy.
Finally, CAEM continues to capitalize on the important relationships we have forged over the last 2 years with important industry associations. Following our meeting with Minister Boissonnault, we reached out to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) to seek their advice and assistance on next steps to ensure our sector is included in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.