Canadian tourism officials warn of crisis

June 3, 2008 at 3:44 PM
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OTTAWA, June 3 (UPI) -- Canadian tourism is in a dangerous slide and the government needs to act, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada warned.

Randy Williams, the association's president told the Canwest News Service Canada has lost 17 million foreign visitors in the past six years, and the industry has mostly survived because of domestic travel.

In a report released Monday, the TIA said the government has to address the issue of high costs of international travel into the country.

"Canada's tourism industry is on the brink of a crisis, and we need urgent actions from governments at all levels to address long-standing structural burdens on our industry," Williams wrote.

The report quoted an international survey that showed Canada ranked 122nd out of 130 countries as far as ticket prices and taxes.

One key area the association called for attention is that of acquiring "approved destination status" from China, the report said. Such agreements exist with 134 other countries, but the TIA said Canada needed to better its standing with Beijing.

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