The 2012 Federal Budget indicates that funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission will be cut to $58 million in 2013-14, from $72 million in 2012-13, and $99 million in 2001-02. While we recognize the importance of balancing the federal budget, we are concerned that ongoing cuts to CTC funding will exacerbate declines in 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.