Canadian tourism operators optimistic about 2014: survey

TORONTO—Canada's tourism operators feel good about 2014, but are less certain through the end of the decade as the industry faces challenges that could affect travel patterns around the world.

A survey by HLT Advisory prepared in advance of the Canadian Tourism Marketing Summit Feb. 12-13 found that two-thirds of tourism businesses in the country were “very optimistic or optimistic” about the industry's prospects this year compared to the last several years.

Their opinions are rooted in reality: the 600-plus respondents represent a cross-section of the country's tourism industry, including destination marketing organizations, attractions, lodging providers, those who organize festivals and events, transportation and service companies and other industry suppliers.

The industry is a bellwether for the broader economy, generating $81.7 billion and employing more than 600,000 Canadians from coast-to-coast. The Conference Board of Canada recently underscored its importance, pointing out that travel and tourism contribute more to gross domestic product than agriculture, fishing and hunting combined.

The Canadian Tourism Marketing Summit will be held following the Hotel Association of Canada conference at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel in Toronto.