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Canada’s Tourism Minister Invites Travel Trade Tell Her Their Concerns

Federal tourism minister Melanie Joly says tourism industry members who find themselves cash-strapped as international travel goes into a freefall thanks to Covid-19 should take their concerns to her, enabling her to raise the issues with other senior members of the government, reports Press Today’s Ian Stalker.

Joly said during an April 1 webinar that she’s on a federal cabinet Covid-19 committee that’s meeting three times a week and she can easily relay industry members’ worries over the state of an industry that’s gone into a tailspin to her fellow cabinet members.

Joly used the webinar to explain recent measures the government has taken to help small businesses. There were no mentioned initiatives aimed specifically at the travel industry.

“I know these are anxious times,” Joly said during the webinar, which also saw Destination Canada board chair Ben Cowan-Dewar declare that this a “brutal time” for the travel industry.

TIAC president Charlotte Bell in turn said travel is both one of this country’s largest employers and also “most impacted” when it comes to Covid-19.

Joly said her government attaches importance to tourism but warned that there won’t be any quick turnaround for the travel trade, which is being decimated internationally by the pandemic. “We’re at the beginning of this and it will become more difficult.”

She said she’s aware the events sector is being hit particularly hard.

Meanwhile, Joly said Canadians should spend more time discovering their own country, which she labelled “the most beautiful country in the world.”

She said countries around the world will be competing for international travellers when tourism rebounds and this country must assure potential visitors who are still jittery in the wake of the pandemic that Canada is a safe country with a good medical system.

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