McGuinty government announces $30 million to revitalize Ontario tourism

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McGuinty government announces $30 million to revitalize Ontario tourism

TORONTO, Feb. 11 - The McGuinty government is helping to revitalize the tourism industry by investing $30 million to promote tourism and economic growth in Ontario, Tourism and Recreation Minister Jim Bradley announced today. "After the extraordinary challenges of last year, it's time to move forward," said Bradley. "The McGuinty government is ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ontario's tourism industry as we work together to revitalize tourism across our province." The $30 million in new funding will be invested in three main areas: - $10 million for provincial tourism marketing to develop and deliver competitive marketing campaigns to sell Ontario in domestic, U.S. and international markets as the destination of choice for travellers from around the world; - $2.8 million earmarked for Northern tourism marketing initiatives, recognizing the unique needs of Northern communities; and - $17.2 million in strategic partnerships to market events and destinations across the province, develop convention business and promote cultural tourism. "While 2003 was a tough year for the tourism industry, 2004 will be about moving forward and rebuilding this key sector of Ontario's economy," added Bradley. "Global tourism is on the upswing, and is expected to become a $2-trillion industry by 2020. We will continue to monitor the state of tourism in Ontario to ensure that our tourism industry and communities across the province have the support they need to realize the potential of this key economic sector. "By building a strong and prosperous economy, we can provide our people a quality of life that is second to none. That's a priority for our government, and that's why we're working with the industry to improve and promote Ontario tourism." Backgrounder TOURISM REVITALIZATION 2004 Ontario Tourism --------------- Tourism is Ontario's seventh largest export industry. A strong tourism sector is critical to Ontario's economic prosperity and quality of life. Tourism directly generated $19.4 billion in expenditures in 2001, and generated $3.1 billion in provincial revenues. Tourism accounts for nearly half a million direct and indirect jobs, and leads all sectors of the economy in providing youth and seasonal employment opportunities. In 2003, Ontario tourism survived its worst year on record. While the focus of provincial support for tourism in 2003 was survival of the industry, 2004 is about moving forward to rebuild this key sector of Ontario's economy. The McGuinty government is committing a total of $30 million from April to September 2004 to help the tourism industry and communities across the province to bring back visitors to Ontario this spring and summer. Tourism Revitalization ---------------------- With $17.2 million committed for tourism recovery in the first half of the 2004-2005 fiscal year, the province will continue to invest in strategic partnerships to market events and destinations across the province, develop convention business and promote cultural tourism. Aggressive marketing campaigns, strategic partnerships and other efforts are essential to getting tourism back on track as a key economic sector in Ontario. Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation ------------------------------------------------- The province's tourism marketing agency, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, will be given $10 million in additional funding, over and above its base funding of $14 million. This additional funding will enable the OTMPC to aggressively market Ontario tourism domestically and abroad to regain market share and remain competitive with other jurisdictions. Northern Tourism Marketing -------------------------- Marketing Northern tourism continues to be a priority for this government, with $2.8 million committed for April to September 2004 to ensure that Northern Ontario can take full advantage of the economic and employment opportunities available through tourism. Last year, northern tourism marketing was integrated with the OTMPC and continued support will allow the province to build on the successes of the last year. Disponible en fran├žais www.tourism.gov.on.ca www.ontariotravel.netFor further information: Contacts: Wayne Beaton, Minister's Office, (416) 314-1400; Jim McPeak, Communications Branch, (416) 314-3497