Canadian Tourism Commission CEO McKenzie welcomes federal budget news

    Increase in funding targets domestic travel and priority international

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - Canadians will be encouraged to "Keep
exploring" Canada with an increase in funding to the Canadian Tourism
Commission (CTC) outlined in the federal government's budget.
    In addition to maintaining the CTC's $76 million funding, the budget
document has earmarked $20 million for each of the next two years to expand
investment into priority international markets and to encourage Canadians to
spend their travel dollars at home.
    "We are delighted that tourism is part of the economic stimulus plan and
commend the Government of Canada for this strategic investment. Tourism is one
of the fastest growing industries in the world and development of Canada's
tourism sector represents a powerful engine of growth for the whole country,"
said Michele McKenzie, President and CEO for the Canadian Tourism Commission.
The CTC will review its highest potential markets for Canada's tourism
industry in order to grow tourism revenues.
    McKenzie believes that the new money can be targeted into partnered
marketing programs that will effectively increase tourism revenues to the
small- and medium-sized businesses that are the backbone of Canada's tourism
    "We realize that it's a very competitive market for tourism on a global
level, but our "Canada. Keep exploring" brand has successfully resonated in
each of the nine global markets in which we operate," said McKenzie. "We look
forward to sharing that message with all Canadians to promote the
extraordinary travel experiences our country offers. Significant brand
recognition for Canada has recently come from the influential Lonely Planet as
one of the Top 10 Countries for 2009, and as the second most respected country
brand in the world by FutureBrand of New York, NY.
    McKenzie believes Canada's tourism brand is strong and presents a concise
message to everyone, fitting well with the tremendous excitement that is being
generated by the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
    "CTC strategy is already looking well past the Games and into a future
where Canada is established as the premier tourism destination in the world,"
McKenzie concluded. "It's important to remember that travel is one of the most
resilient industries, quickly recovering from past shocks and one of the first
things people want to indulge in when the economic clouds begin to lift. We
plan to be ready."
    Other tourism-related initiatives in the budget include the creation of a
National Trails System, an upgrade to National Parks visitors' facilities such
as campgrounds and visitor centres, an upgrade to National Historic Site, and
cultural festivals.

    About the CTC

    The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Our vision
is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism
industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we
advertise and market Canada in nine countries around the world, conduct
industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development.
For research and statistics, news and media resources, travel information and
events, please visit the Media Centre
    For regular updates on CTC initiatives, please subscribe to CTC News
available as RSS and Email.

    What sort of traveler are you? Take the EQ(TM) test!

For further information:

For further information: Margaret Nevin, Senior Communications
Advisor/Conseillère en communications, Canadian Tourism Commission/Commission
canadienne du tourisme, Tel/Tél (604) 638-8406, Cell (604) 376-6690, Fax/Téléc
(604) 638-8438,,

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