OTTAWA, Oct. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - With the release today of the latest tourism statistics by Statistics Canada, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, made the following statement:
"As Canadians, we are known the world over for our generosity, inclusiveness and warm hospitality. I am very proud of the fact that in the first eight months of this year—the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation—Canada welcomed more than 14.6 million visitors from around the world, an increase of more than 4 percent over the same period in 2016. Notably, we saw impressive growth in key markets, including almost 8 percent growth from visitors travelling from Asia. Chinese tourists now account for more than 10 percent of overseas visitors.
"Canada's tourism industry creates economic growth and good middle-class jobs right across our country. It comprises approximately 200,000 businesses, of which almost all are small businesses and which directly or indirectly support one in ten jobs across this country—in rural areas, small towns, Indigenous communities and big cities. These jobs are in a broad range of sectors and are a key part of Canada's middle class.
"Tourism is also Canada's largest service export. Last year, international tourism accounted for over $20 billion in revenue. As we continue to welcome more and more visitors to our beautiful country, I expect that this thriving sector will continue to see growth. That means increased demand for new products and services and new opportunities for tourism operators to grow, offer new experiences and create good middle-class jobs.
"As we look back on an amazing summer of celebration for Canada 150, I am proud to have worked with so many hard-working tourism entrepreneurs and small businesses, and we will continue to open our doors to the world and show off all that Canada has to offer.
"And as we prepare for the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism, we have another opportunity to capitalize on the successes of a vibrant tourism industry and continue to promote our country as a go-to destination. I look forward to many more great months and years ahead."
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
For further information: Jonathan Dignan, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism, 343-291-2700; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org