The federal government provided $58 milliion in funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) in 2014-15, reflecting a dramatic reduction from $99 million in 2001-02. While we recognize the importance of balancing the federal budget, we are concerned that cuts to CTC funding are adversely impacting International Tourist Arrivals to Canada. In light of this, we support calls from the Canadian Tourism Industry to restore CTC funding to internationally competitive levels. Moreover, we endorse the idea that GST paid by international visitors to Canada is a logical source of funding for the CTC.
Some tourism industry stakeholders have suggested that an 'International Visitor Arrival Levy' would be an acceptable means by which to fund the CTC. We strongly oppose this option. In our view, such an approach would increase Canadian air travel costs, thereby exacerbating our lack of competitiveness with respect to air access. Clearly, this would significantly undermine our efforts to reverse declines in international visitation to Canada.