$16 Billion Ontario Tourism Gap Requires a Dedicated Government Strategy: Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Lost Revenue From The Province's Tourism Industry Impacting Job Creation and Growth

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) 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.

"As one of the top employers of our next generation of working Ontarians and an economic cornerstone for many communities, the tourism industry plays a key role in supporting our overall economic health," said Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. "Based on international trends, however, our report demonstrates a significant lost growth opportunity for the industry. It is critical that the province as a whole take steps to close this gap and develop sustainable growth in visitation to Ontario."

The OCC'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 OCC 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 OCC 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," adds O'Dette. "If we can do this successfully, the province will achieve substantial economic gains while keeping up with global growth trends."

To produce its report, the OCC 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.

Learn more about the OCC.

SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce

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

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http://www.occ.on.ca

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