Closing the Tourism Gap: Creating a Long-Term Advantage for Ontario

    OCC identifies critical steps needed to create long-term growth in the tourism industry

    Ontario’s tourism industry plays a vital role in supporting the growth of the province’s economy. Tourism businesses and other members of the industry support over 360,000 jobs and generate over $25 billion in GDP, but perhaps the industry’s greater value is its widespread contribution to local economies throughout Ontario.

    While Ontario and Canada’s growth rate in attracting international visitors has recently begun to improve, this follows a decade of significant decline. Until recently, our province was experiencing relatively little growth in the number of visitors each year, and current visitation numbers remain below historical levels. Meanwhile, the number of visitors internationally has increased steadily, resulting in a widening tourism gap between our province and international tourism trends.

    In Closing the Tourism Gap, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) examines the state of Ontario’s tourism industry and seeks to answer the question: What steps can Ontario take to create a long-term tourism advantage? In particular, we quantify the impact of Ontario’s tourism gap on visitor spending in the province, and provide a set of nine recommendations to government and industry to help close the gap. These recommendations address the need to engage in strategic and evidence-based planning, improve the tourism business environment, enhance visitor access, and support tourism marketing.

    The OCC hopes that the recommendations contained in this report inform the provincial government’s Strategic Framework for Tourism in Ontario, a long-term plan for the industry.

    Read the report.

    Closing the Tourism Gap report cover

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