Latest News and Updates from Destination Canada

Please see the below updates from March 24 – April 14, 2023.

Federal Budget 2023 – Tourism Highlights

The federal government’s recently released Budget 2023, included these key highlights for our sector:

  • Destination Canada will receive $50 million over the next three years to attract major international conventions, conferences and events to Canada.
  • $108 million over 3 years for the Regional Development Agencies to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations develop local projects and events.
  • The Electronic Travel Authorization Program will be expanded to low-risk, trusted travellers from more visa-required countries, helping to make Canada a more attractive travel destination while prioritizing national security.
  • The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority will receive $1.8 billion over the next five years to increase its level of service, improve airport screening wait times, and strengthen airport security measures.

For a full recap of Budget 2023’s travel and tourism highlights, refer to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s (TIAC) roundup.

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Québec City Hosts Destination Canada’s Incentive Canada Winter

The cozy allure of Canada’s winter season is particularly charming in Québec City, Québec, which hosted Destination Canada’s second annual Incentive Canada Winter (February 5-8). The event provided 14 international incentive buyers with an opportunity to experience thrilling winter adventure, sumptuous culinary experiences and enriching cultural activities in the province’s capital. Supported by Québec City Business Destination and Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Destination Canada treated clients to a full roster of seasonal activities that make for ideal incentive rewards. Among the many itinerary inclusions were an afternoon at a cabane à sucre (sugar shack), canot à glace (ice canoeing), and ice climbing at Montmorency Falls.

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Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada Announces 2023-24 Action Plan

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada(ITAC) has released its 2023-24 Action Plan. The document outlines a vision to rebuild the Indigenous tourism industry to peak 2019 levels – including $1.9 billion in annual GDP and 39,000 people employed – and provides insight into an ambitious plan for Canada to become a global leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030. Other highlights include ITAC expanding participation and representation in national-level tourism organizations, including Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), and Parks Canada; an investment of $1.5 million in funding for accreditation programming; and a $3 million marketing campaign to support the growth of the Indigenous tourism sector.

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Looking Back on Global Meetings Industry Day

During Global Meetings Industry Day (March 30), destinations across Canada celebrated the promising return of business events from coast to coast. Over the past few years, meetings have adapted and evolved like never before – whether pivoting to virtual gatherings during the pandemic, adopting hybrid models as we moved through recovery, or embracing legacy practices that positively impact host destinations. As we look forward, we continue to champion the power of meetings and the economic growth they bring to our communities. At the same time, we must empower the next generation of leaders to build on the foundation we have established – a strong, resilient meetings industry that weathers future storms and supports a brighter, better future. 

In a recent newsletter deployed by Destination Canada’s Business Events team, Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director, Business Events, discusses the value of meetings in Canada and recent and upcoming initiatives from the team. Coming up soon: Innovate Canada 2023 (May 8-11) in Waterloo, Ontario and IMEX Frankfurt (May 23-25), as well as ASAE Executive Leadership Forum in Vancouver (June 4-6) and PCMA EduCon in Montréal, Quebec (June). Read Chantal’s message here.

British Vogue Names Canada a Trending Travel Destination for 2023

British Vogue compiled a list of the top international travel destinations to visit in 2023, and Canada was featured in the top 10. The publication touted Canada’s abundance of national parks, wildlife and energetic cities, and highlighted destinations in Alberta, Nova Scotia, BC, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Tourism HR Canada Launches New Campaign to Encourage Growth across Canada’s Tourism Sector

Travel is rebounding more quickly than expected, but Canadian tourism businesses are operating with over 100,000 fewer workers compared to 2019. To address this shortage, Tourism HR Canada has launched the campaign “Discover Tourism” with the goal of facilitating growth and recovery across the sector. The project is funded by the federal government’s Tourism Relief Fund, and will help to support an anticipated full recovery of the sector in 2024.

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Destination BC and ITBC Launch Indigenous-Focused Video Campaign

Destination BC and Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) have introduced Illahee, an Indigenous-focused consumer marketing campaign. The emotive campaign – whose name means “our lands and our place within them” – features documentary-style videos that uplift Indigenous voices and share the connection that Indigenous People have with the land and wildlife in BC. In addition to a water-inspired episode that was published last year, the Illahee campaign will feature two new videos that share the storytellers’ connection to bears and whales.

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Bonjour Québec and Air Transat Summer Campaign a Swift Success

Bonjour Québec partnered with Air Transat to produce a marketing video urging travellers to visit Québec this summer. Since it was introduced in mid-February, the compelling video has earned more than 1.2 million views in three weeks. In addition to social media, it’s been shown in over 125 cinemas and 700 theatres in Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

Travel Alberta Commits $6 Million to Support Indigenous Tourism

Travel Alberta and Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) recently announced the largest ever provincial contribution towards the development and marketing of Indigenous-owned tourism experience. Over the next three years, Travel Alberta will provide $6 million in direct and in-kind support, with the goal of enabling more Indigenous tourism operators to develop new products, expand existing offerings, and more effectively market and attract visitors to their experiences. Indigenous tourism has become a key driver for international visitation to the province – in fact, several Alberta-based Indigenous tourism operators were featured in National Geographic’s 2023 Best of the World list.

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Victoria Featured in Forbes’ “Best Places to Travel List”

Victoria, BC was featured alongside Edmonton, Alberta as two of the best places to travel in Canada in Forbes’ list of 23 Places to Travel Around the World in 2023. The writer commended the city’s walkability and endless store of hidden treasures, as well as its recent Biosphere certification. Next up: the city has been nominated as a contender for TravelAwaits’ Best of Travel 2023 Awards in the categories “Favourite Mid-Size International City” and “Most Walkable International City”. Vote for Victoria here.

Vancouver Leads Canada and North America in KAYAK’s 2023 City Index for Mindful Travellers

Vancouver, BC claimed the top spot in Canada and North America in travel website KAYAK’s 2023 City Index for Mindful Travellers! Twenty-eight factors were used to rank 167 cities worldwide, including sustainability, a destination’s popularity, accommodation, transportation, air quality and cost. The selected cities are good choices for people who want to reduce their impact on the environment while travelling. Other Canadian cities that made the list are Halifax, Nova Scotia; Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; and Victoria, BC, among others. 

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We are always looking for inspiring campaigns to share with the sector. If your organization has a successful marketing campaign and would like to be featured as a case study, please email us: 

TED@DestinationCanada brought 14 of the brightest speakers and biggest change makers connected to Canada together on a global stage to inspire the world to see Canada for its unique blend of openness. 

Three new TED@Destination Canada talks have been published on

  • Lori McCarthy, food laureate, teaches visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador generations-old skills of foraging, hunting, butchering and preserving.
  • Alona Fyshe, neural networker, proposes a different perspective by investigating the ways AI compares to the human brain.
  • Alysa McCall, polar bear protector, discusses the ways we can help polar bears thrive in the wild while maintaining the safety of nearby communities.

January Overnight Arrivals 

Canada welcomed 707,000 overnight visitors in January 2023, an improvement of 233% over January 2022. This brought January arrivals up to 77% of 2019 levels. 

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The Next Steps in Our Sustainability Journey

We are pleased to announce the 16 Canadian destinations that are participating in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), as part of the Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan: Banff Lake Louise, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Kelowna, Montréal, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, PEI, Québec City, Saskatoon, St. John’s, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg.

Launched in the spring of 2022, our Canadian Business Event Sustainability Plan is a first-of-its-kind national program that positions Canadian destinations as changemakers accelerating progress toward the industry’s 2050 net-zero targets.

The 16 partners have completed four workshops on sustainability training and are embarking on a GDS-Index journey that will take place over the next two months. Full results, including a summary Canadian dashboard, will be available in October/November. 

Next up: destinations will take part in a storytelling masterclass that centres sustainability initiatives. These will be shared with clients to ensure they are aware of Canadian sustainability options for future events.

Recovery Resources

Destination Canada is here to support our industry as we work to drive recovery. With restrictions lifted, it is time to ensure your tourism business is ready to take advantage of the recovery opportunity ahead.
Below are resources and insights to help provide an understanding of the shifts we are seeing within the industry and tools to help tourism businesses attract employees and travellers.

Destination Canada Resources:

Government of Canada Resources:

Tourism HR Canada Recovery Programs and Resources:

Applications Open for the National Trail Youth Employment Program

There is still time for employers to apply for the Trans Canada Trail National Trail Youth Employment Program for the 2022-2023 season. The subsidy is intended to support jobs for youth that contribute to the development and improvement of sections of the Trail. 

Tourism Week

Date: April 24-30, 2023

Location: Cross-Canada

Details: Tourism Week is an annual celebration of Canada’s destinations, tourism businesses and employees. This year’s theme “Canada: Powered by Tourism” spreads a message that Canada is open for business and ready to welcome travellers from around the world.

Rendez-vous Canada 2023

Date: May 30 – June 2, 2023

Location: Quebec City, Quebec

Details: Co-produced by Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, RVC 2023 is an exciting opportunity to welcome international buyers to Canada and showcase the beauty of this country, as well as the truly meaningful travel experiences on offer across each province and territory.

GoMedia Canada 2023

Date: September 26-27, 2023

Location: Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Details: Following a three-year absence, GoMedia Canada 2023 has been re-imagined, focusing on increasing meaningful connections through a smaller program comprised of international media and passionate Canadian media relations representatives. Produced by Destination Canada in partnership with Discover Saskatoon and Tourism Saskatchewan, attendance is by invitation only.