Tourism Report Aims To Strengthen Industry

    Long-term Plan For Increasing Competitiveness Of Tourism Sector

    TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ -


    Greg Sorbara, MPP for Vaughan, released a report today that lays out a
10-year plan for boosting the tourism industry by marketing Ontario as one of
the world's best places to visit.
    Discovering Ontario: A report on the future of tourism
( proposes four strategies to help the provincial
government and the tourism industry create jobs and build the province's

    -  Change how the Ontario government and tourism operators work together.
    -  Establish new globally competitive standards for success.
    -  Maximize investment in tourism products and attractions and the
       infrastructure that supports them.
    -  Revitalize tourism marketing with a regional focus.

    Tourism Minister Monique Smith will review the recommendations as part of
the government's ongoing effort to support the tourism industry.


    "Tourism is a major economic driver," said the Honourable Monique Smith,
Minister of Tourism. "I look forward to reviewing the recommendations and to
working with the industry to determine the best path to build tourism into an
even more important contributor to Ontario's prosperity."
    "This report is a road map for the next decade and beyond that will help
Ontario create jobs and generate wealth," said Sorbara. "I urge everyone in
the tourism sector who has been calling for fundamental change to seize this
opportunity and help make it happen. Together, the industry and government can
revitalize our tourism offering so that it flourishes for decades to come."
    "The release of the tourism competitiveness study is a positive step in
the recognition of tourism as a major economic generator. This will launch the
foundation for a comprehensive approach throughout government and industry to
increase Ontario's share of global tourism receipts. This study brings some
new ideas that will engage all stakeholders in ongoing dialogue to reshape the
industry for the next decade," said Greater Toronto Hotel Association
President Terry Mundell.


    -  In 2007, tourism in Ontario directly or indirectly employed more than
       300,000 workers.
    -  Tourism revenue in 2007 was $22.1 billion or 3.4% of the province's
       Gross Domestic Product, which was greater than the combined total from
       agriculture, forestry/logging, commercial fishing/hunting and mining.


    Read the report at

                                                      Disponible en français



    Discovering Ontario: A report on the future of tourism provides advice to
the provincial government and the tourism industry on how Ontario can create
jobs and build its economy by marketing itself as one of the world's best
places to visit.

    The report proposes four targeted strategies and a number of key

    -  Changing how the Ontario government and tourism operators work
       together by:
       -  Creating regional bodies to strengthen tourism in all parts of the
       -  Bringing more consistency to the collection of Destination
          Marketing Fees, which are currently applied differently in many
          parts of Ontario
       -  Encouraging the creation of a strong, single industry association
          to represent all stakeholders in the tourism sector.

    -  Establishing new globally competitive standards for tourism success
       -  Creating new workforce education and training programs
       -  Adopting exceptional service delivery standards.

    -  Maximizing investment in tourism products, attractions and the
       infrastructure that supports them by:
       -  Working to make access to capital easier for small- and
          medium-sized tourism operators
       -  Aggressively pursuing private sector investment in Ontario tourism
       -  Providing support for the road, rail, waterway and way-finding
          infrastructures that allow visitors to travel to our high-draw
          tourism gateways
       -  Continuing to invest in new and existing publicly operated
          attractions, such as Ontario Place, Ontario's parks and cultural

    -  Revitalizing tourism marketing with a regional focus by:
       -  Promoting specific tourism attractions, products and regions to
          targeted niche markets under an Ontario brand umbrella
       -  Focusing on new best-prospect international tourism markets like
          Mexico, Brazil and China
       -  Improving online marketing and booking capabilities.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Lisa DiLollo, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4543; Jane Greer, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8391

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Ontario Ministry of Tourism

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