The Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) applauds Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara for including a boost to tourism marketing in today’s Fall Economic Statement. “This is a recognition that tourism is an important contributor to the provincial economy,” said GTHA President Rod Seiling.
“Mr. Sorbara understands that when we are able to attract more visitors, we create more jobs - and more revenue.”
As noted in the September edition of The Front Desk, the GTHA’s quarterly newsletter, the most recent data shows tourism generating more than $11 billion in Ontario - 2.2% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product. More than 160,000 Ontario businesses are tourism related, representing 19% of all enterprises across the province. Government receives about 27 cents from every tourism dollar.
“Clearly, everybody wins when we have more visitors, and marketing has been proven to help increase the number of visitors. Obviously, in order for travellers to choose Toronto as a destination, they need to know what we have to offer. We appreciate the government’s investment in helping us spread our positive messages,” Seiling said.
He added that the increased funding for tourism marketing is timely, as the sector is struggling, in large part due to an ongoing decline in U.S. visitors.
“We are confident we can turn things around, through effective marketing and public relations,” he said. “We saw this work before, when the government’s tourism recovery funding made a big difference following the disastrous year in 2003. We are delighted that the government has come to the table once again.”
The voice of Toronto’s hotel industry, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association represents more than 160 hotels, with approximately 34,000 guest rooms and more than 32,000 full time jobs.