Canada unveils a new campaign to attract more American tourists

Published on : Saturday, May 23, 2015

canada flagCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced support for a major new tourism campaign to attract more American visitors to destinations across Canada. The Prime Minister also announced further support for the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site, the tourist destination where he launched the new tourism campaign. He was joined by Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), and Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Wild Rose.



The Connecting America campaign, which will be undertaken from 2015 to 2018, will use new technologies and innovative approaches to reach out to travellers from the United States (U.S.). The initiative will enable the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) to collaborate with partners in the private sector, international travel trade (e.g., travel agents, tour operators) and the provinces and territories to promote Canada as a premier tourism destination, creating exciting new opportunities for the sector. It will also help promote economic growth by creating or maintaining an estimated 2,900 jobs across Canada.



The support being provided for the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site will help create jobs and opportunities by ensuring the integrity of the site is maintained for Canadians and international tourists to enjoy for years to come.



The recent announcements are some of many measures undertaken by the Government of Canada to strengthen Canada’s tourism sector. Other notable examples include a campaign to increase awareness for the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, efforts to boost Japanese visitors to Prince Edward Island, a campaign promoting Ontario to British tourists, as well as funding for tourism promotion activities such as the Québec City Summer Festival and support for the restoration of the historic walls around Old Québec City. The recently announced Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will also provide significant support for existing community and cultural infrastructure across the country that tourists visit.



Quick Facts

(*) The U.S. is Canada’s largest inbound tourism market, representing approximately 70 per cent of overnight tourists to Canada. In 2014, 11.5 million overnight tourists from the U.S. came to Canada. With growth from U.S. tourists at 0.3 per cent last year, marketing opportunities exist to raise awareness of Canada’s exciting and authentic tourism experiences.


(*) Tourism makes an important contribution to the Canadian economy, with businesses large and small employing hundreds of thousands of workers in communities across the country. In 2014, the tourism sector provided nearly 628,000 direct jobs, and tourism revenues in Canada reached $88.5 billion.


(*) The announcement also supports the small- and medium-sized tourism businesses that make up approximately 98 per cent of the tourism market in Canada, creating jobs and economic growth.


(*) The Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site commemorates the importance of immigration to Canada, particularly via the port of entry of Québec, from the early 19th century to the First World War. Grosse Île also reminds Canadians of the tragic events experienced by the Irish immigrants on this site, primarily during the typhus epidemic of 1847, and the role the island played as a quarantine station for the Port of Québec from 1832 to 1937. At the time, the island was the main point of entry for immigrants coming to Canada.


(*)The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. A federal Crown corporation of the Government of Canada, it leads the Canadian tourism sector in marketing Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination where travellers can enjoy extraordinary experiences. It provides a consistent voice for Canada in the international tourism marketplace.
(*) According to a study from the Reputation Institute, Canada is the top country in the world to visit, live in, study and attend or organize events. A beautiful and enjoyable country, friendly and welcoming people, contributions to global culture and safe environment were key drivers in the rankings.
(*) Parks Canada is located in every province and territory in Canada. With 44 national parks, four national marine conservation areas, and 167 national historic sites, Parks Canada is the premier heritage tourism provider in Canada, receiving approximately 20 million visitors annually.



“Our Government understands that the Canadian tourism sector is competing with all countries in the world for travellers’ dollars. We are proud of the significant support we have provided to the tourism sector to date under the Federal Tourism Strategy. The new campaign being announced today will help attract more U.S. travellers to Canada, generating jobs, opportunities and prosperity across the country.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“The support announced today for the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site will ensure this important part of our cultural heritage remains a top destination in the Québec City region for years to come.”Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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