Government of Canada launches new Tourism Growth Program
From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Canada’s regional development agencies will deliver $108 million over three years to support tourism projects across the country
November 20, 2023 – Vancouver, British Columbia
Tourism is a cornerstone of Canada’s economy. The tourism sector creates opportunities in communities across this country, supporting almost two million jobs and contributing some $38 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2022. After suffering some of its worst years in history, Canadian tourism is poised to grow significantly; experts predict that its contribution to our economy will continue to increase substantially. The ambitious Federal Tourism Growth Strategy targets a 40% increase of tourism sector’s contribution to Canada’s GDP by the end of the decade. That is why the Government of Canada is working to help Canadian tourism grow and bring more visitors to our shores.
The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, today launched the new Tourism Growth Program (TGP). With $108 million in federal funding, this program will invest in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, small businesses, and not-for-profits, helping them grow and positioning Canada as a destination of choice.
Canada’s seven regional development agencies will deliver the program’s funding directly to businesses and other organizations over the next three years, supporting projects to help more domestic and international visitors discover all that Canada has to offer. The projects will also align with the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy—supporting sustainable tourism, outdoor experiences, Indigenous tourism, seasonal expansion, and tourism in rural and remote areas—with the goal of diversifying regional economies and spurring economic growth.
Promoting Indigenous tourism is an important part of the Tourism Growth Program, with 15% of funds reserved for it. Indigenous tourism creates jobs and opportunities in communities across the country, which is why the Government of Canada is working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to encourage its growth. Indigenous tourism also sets Canada apart as a tourism destination for visitors from around the world. Most importantly, Indigenous tourism plays an important role in accelerating self-determination for communities and advancing reconciliation.
The Tourism Growth Program is one of the many ways in which the Government of Canada is helping the tourism industry to grow and thrive. Last week, Minister Ferrada announced the launch of the Indigenous Tourism Fund’s Micro and Small Business Stream, which will provide $10 million in direct support for Indigenous tourism operators. Additional supports for the industry include the $500 million Tourism Relief Fund established during the pandemic, increases in funding to Destination Canada, support for major international events like the 2026 FIFA World Cup, investments in the Trans Canada Trail, and partnerships with other governments and the private sector to help enhance tourism offerings and welcome more visitors to our country.
“When it comes to tourism, Canada has what the world wants—and it’s no surprise that we’re a tourism powerhouse. As a government, we have a responsibility to help the industry grow and thrive so it can keep contributing to Canada’s prosperity. The new Tourism Growth Program will help Canadian tourism seize opportunities and create jobs, and I look forward to seeing the difference it makes in communities across this land.”
– The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
“With its unique arts and culture experiences, breathtaking natural attractions, and more, B.C. is a world-class destination for visitors. Through the Tourism Growth Program, PacifiCan will invest in projects that grow the B.C. tourism industry—an industry that already supports more than 80,000 jobs and 16,000 businesses across the province. Growing tourism in B.C. means creating more jobs that British Columbians can rely on and attracting more visitors to our beautiful home.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
- The $108 million Tourism Growth Program was announced in Budget 2023.
- The Tourism Growth Program complements supports for the tourism industry provided through other federal, provincial and territorial programs.
- In 2023, Canada welcomed 12.6 million international tourists in the first eight months, a 54% increase from the same period in 2022.1
- In 2022, the tourism industry supported 1.87 million jobs, recovering to 90% of the number of jobs seen in 2019, when the industry supported 2.07 million jobs.2
- In 2022, tourism contributed nearly $38 billion to Canada’s GDP3, generated close to $94 billion in revenue for businesses4, and accounted for almost 13% of service exports5.
Office of the Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada