HAC ‘encouraged’ by federal budget’s tourism spending

OTTAWA — The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), in a release issued March 22, is “encouraged with the federal government’s recognition of tourism, in the March 22 budget.

HAC's Tony Pollard.

HAC's Tony Pollard.

OTTAWA — The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), in a release issued March 22, is “encouraged with the federal government’s recognition of tourism, in the March 22 budget, wherein Finance Minister Bill Morneau pledged a commitment of $50 million over two years starting in 2016-2017.”

“Canada’s national tourism marketing organization, Destination Canada, has a strong track record of working with industry partners to maximize the impact of marketing campaigns,” said the Finance Minister quoted in the release. “Budget 2016 builds on this successful model by proposing to provide $50 million over two years, starting in 2016-17, to Destination Canada to seize opportunities with partners by augmenting marketing initiatives in important international markets, such as the United States and China.”

To express his appreciation, HAC president Tony Pollard send a note to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Ministers of Tourism, Environment, Treasury Board and to each of the 35 members of the Tourism Caucus. “Yesterday’s federal budget demonstrates full well your commitment to the very important travel and tourism industry. Minister, the two words ‘Thank You’ are, unfortunately, not heard that often in Ottawa. So, to you on behalf of 288,000 people working in the lodging industry, thank you.”

In addition, the government will be supporting activities and events to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, with $150 million to be spent over two years.

The budget also proposes to spend another $3.4 billion over five years earmarked for national parks, harbours, airport, and border infrastructure. Additional proposals call for the earmarking of $20 million over two years to Parks Canada, including historic lighthouses and railway stations; an additional $45 million for service, safety and capital improvements; and proposes $73 million in new funding to support ferry services in Atlantic Canada.