GTHA welcomes Ontario Tourism Competitiveness Strategy

    TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA)
welcomes the Ontario Tourism Competitiveness Study's final report presented
today by Chair Greg Sorbara.
    Discovering Ontario: A Report on the Future of Tourism, commissioned in
March 2007, is the result of nearly a year of research and consultations and
honours the Liberal government's commitment to inform the future of Tourism in
Ontario and ensure the industry continues to be an important contributor to
the province's economy.
    The report's ten year strategy is presented under four key points:
Changing how government and industry partners work together; establishing
standards for success; maximizing investment in Ontario's tourism products,
attractors and infrastructure; and, using a regional-based tourism marketing
strategy to draw visitors. Twenty recommendations and expected results provide
a blueprint to capitalize on long term opportunities and build a viable
internationally competitive industry.
    The Study notes that "Tourism is one of the pillars of the Ontario
economy and contributes more to provincial GDP than the entire primary sector
including forestry and mining". The Ministry of Tourism estimates that every
$1 million spent by visitors, creates 14 jobs and generates $553,400 in wages
and salaries in the province.
    "We are pleased that the study highlights the importance of Tourism and
its positive impact on the Ontario economy", says Terry Mundell, President of
the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. "Investments in Tourism product,
infrastructure and strategic marketing are critical to the success of our
industry and we are looking forward to working with the government and our
partners on the recommendations in the Study to reposition the province as a
major global competitor."
    Highlights of Discovering Ontario:

    -   By 2020 the goal is to double Ontario's Tourism receipts to $44
    -   Regulation and standardization of Destination Marketing Fees through
        legislation that would flow directly to the industry to provide
        annual marketing support;
    -   Tourism regions established across the province to be managed by on
        Destination Marketing & Management Organization;
    -   Increased investment in transportation infrastructure, tourism and
        cultural attractions, and festival and events and,
    -   A tourism investment attraction strategy to facilitate new private
        sector investment in destinations and attractions along with public
        sector investments in existing properties.

    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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