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Leaders of the Canadian tourism and travel sectors recently announced the formation of the Canadian Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of industry representatives committed to restoring the Canadian tourism and travel sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The roundtable is calling on all levels of government to work together to streamline and clarify rules around travel in order to ensure safe, accessible and timely travel for Canadians this summer.
This sector, which supports 1.8 million workers across the country, has been devastated by the pandemic and urgent action must be taken to prevent long-lasting economic and job impacts. Through the roundtable, leaders of Canada’s tourism and travel sector — airports, airlines, hotels, chambers of commerce, and others — have come together to restart the sector smoothly and safely and are committed to working together with all levels of government to restore the Canadian tourism industry to its potential.
“The roundtable is looking forward to working with governments across the country to take meaningful steps to ease travel and quarantine restrictions so that they are more targeted and less universal. Failing to do so risks permanently losing millions of jobs across the country that depend upon a robust tourism sector. Other jurisdictions, like the European Union and Australia, have already unveiled action plans to save the summer travel season,” said Charlotte Bell, chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).
“The aviation, hospitality, and tourism sectors were hit particularly hard by the pandemic,” said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Although a return to pre-crisis conditions may be several years off, protecting this vital sector during the critical summer season will require a carefully calibrated and targeted response from government. Restoring tourism is important for all regions of Canada.”
For many Canadian businesses in the sector, re-opening the summer travel season is critical for their survival. Roundtable members recently wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requesting a meeting to discuss appropriate, more targeted and urgent measures to get the sector back to work and to encourage Canadians to safely explore our country this summer, so the season is not entirely lost for travellers or the industry.
Working with all levels of government, the Canadian Tourism Roundtable is confident it can develop and coordinate a comprehensive plan that is highly focused on public safety, to streamline the rules with the end-to-end traveler experience in mind, and to enable Canadians to connect with family and friends across the country once again, while simultaneously restoring some of Canada’s all-important summer tourism season.