Is Canada Tourism Resilient Against Disruptive Events?

Is Canada Tourism resilient against disruptive events? What are your thoughts?

The 2013 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) Report has just been released and Canada placed #8 out of 140 countries in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness!

So.. what does this report tell us in Canada? What can we learn and where can we improve as an industry?

The report is “based on the extent to which countries are putting in place the factors and policies to make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector” for the future.

The TTCI bases its report on 14 criteria. Here is how Canada ranked:

Policy Rules and Regulations #10
Environmental Sustainability #41
Safety & Security #18
Health & Hygiene #53
Prioritization of Travel Tourism #37
Air Transport Infrastructure #1
Ground Transport Infrastructure #33
Tourism Infrastructure #21
ICT Infrastructure #23
Price Competitiveness in the T&T Industry #2
Human Resources #36
Affinity for Travel & Tourism #63
Natural resources #53
Cultural resources #95

Canada moves up 1 spot in the TTCI Rankings. The report indicates our strengths in Canada as natural resources (10th); World Heritage sites (5th); air transport infrastructure (5th); qualified human resources (5th); and a strong environment policy (10th). The report continues to praise our high number of events and festivals.

Our natural resources (oil sands) is a sore spot in the world. Our air transport services are one of the most expensive in the world. Our strong environment policy… what policy really? When you compare travel and it includes developed and a high majority of undeveloped countries – like in this report – we look like stars. The comparison here is very similar to the old “apples to oranges” scenario. When you compare our policies to – say- other developed countries like the G8 we finish near the bottom.

Canada lost some points in the categories of price competitiveness and environmental sustainability. Reasoning is our lack of enforcement of environmental regulations and our high CO2 per capita emissions.

The report concludes that “in a world that is ever more volatile and in an environment that is ever-changing, new capabilities in tourism management and sector development are vital if an economy is to become more resilient against disruptive events and to prepare for long-term stability.”

Our DMOs must envision where the tourism market will be in 5 years – not in 1 year – because in today’s world we live in a volatile global economy which is often disrupted by world events which ultimately redirects the flow of travelers around the world.

And yet… we watch in awe… as our DMOs drop our efforts to market Canada to the USA travel sector (our most secure, stable & accessible market) in favour of marketing to overseas countries surrounded by volatile and disruptive circumstances. For our DMOs to take the USA tourism market for granted may just create the biggest challenge in the future for attracting USA tourists when we need them.


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