GTHA applauds tourism initiatives in federal budget

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA)
commended Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for measures in today's federal Budget
that will help Toronto's tourism industry.
    "We appreciate that the federal government has recognized tourism as an
important economic sector - and nowhere is it more important than in Canada's
largest city and chief tourist gateway," said GTHA President Terry Mundell.
"Minister Flaherty took steps today that will help Toronto's tourism industry
stay competitive in a fierce global marketplace."
    The GTHA welcomes the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program,
which will provide GST exemptions or rebates for convention, group and tour
business - important markets for hotels and others in the tourism industry.
    "Conventions alone in the GTA were worth nearly $300 million in direct
spending by delegates and exhibitors last year. We are pleased that Minister
Flaherty has listened to our industry and implemented incentives to help us
attract more business and leisure travel groups," Mundell said. "This also
sends a positive signal to convention planners, group organizers and tour
operators that Toronto is a welcoming destination."

    The voice of the hotel industry in the Greater Toronto Area, the GTHA
represents more than 160 hotels, with approximately 34,000 guest rooms and
more than 32,000 full time jobs.

For further information:

For further information: Terry Mundell, President, Greater Toronto Hotel
Association, (416) 351-1276

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