GTHA welcomes investment of $300 million in Canada's tourism industry

    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA)
supports Canada's Economic Action Plan, presented yesterday by The Honourable
Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. The Plan includes a significant stimulus
package to increase consumer spending and stimulate the economy.
    Tourism was identified as one of the key areas of the economy as it
encompasses many service sectors and is an important source of employment in
many regions of Canada. The Federal Government's investment of over $300
million in the Tourism sector will help to stimulate growth, innovate, and
enhance Canada's tourism industry.
    "Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and
represents a tremendous economic growth opportunity for Toronto, Ontario and
the rest of Canada, but the industry is dependent on the disposable income of
both consumers and business", said GTHA President Terry Mundell. "The industry
is first in and last out of difficult economic times and we appreciate that
the federal government recognizes the significant role of tourism as an
important generator of jobs and a major contributor to the Canadian economy".
    Canada's Economic Action Plan includes key investments in infrastructure;
roads, border crossings, Union Station and Via Rail track upgrades that will
improve the visitor experience, generate repeat visits, longer stays and bring
positive feedback to other potential travellers. The revitalization of Union
Station, coupled with the recently announced link for Pearson Airport will
provide Toronto with a world class transportation hub.
    Other important investments for the Tourism industry are: $40 million
over two years to the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) to grow business from
the domestic and international marketplace; $100 million over two years for
marquee festivals and events that will provide an increased opportunity for
destination animation and draw a significant number of tourists to Toronto and
Canada; and, actions to improve access to financing for consumers and business
that will provide investment and create new jobs. Consumers and businesses
will also benefit from the budget's personal income tax relief to generate
consumer spending.

    The voice of the hotel industry in the Greater Toronto Area and a major
stakeholder in the Tourism industry, the GTHA represents 170 hotels, with
approximately 34,000 guest rooms and more than 32,000 full time jobs.

For further information:

For further information: Kelly Ing, Greater Toronto Hotel Association,
(416) 351-1276

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