FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2014
OTTAWA – The Canadian Airports Council and National Airlines Council of Canada today welcomed the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s continued recognition of ‘uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies’ as one of the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014.
In its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce once again recognizes that aviation enables all the other sectors of the tourism community. The Chamber also notes that high fees and added taxes on consumers and industry by the federal government have contributed to a drop in Canada’s position among the world’s tourism destinations from seventh place to nearly out of the top 20 in just a decade.
“There is no doubt that high transportation fees, and added government taxes represent significant challenges for the aviation industry. Canada’s aviation sector welcomes the Chamber’s continued focus to improve Canada’s competitiveness in travel and tourism,” said Canadian Airports Council President Daniel-Robert Gooch. “In addition to revisiting the aviation industry’s cost structure, there are several policy areas worth exploring that have a significant role to play in improving the industry’s competitiveness, such as increasing access to Canada for transiting passengers by expanding the current Transit Without Visa program, allocating additional resources for border services, and securing adequate funding for security screening.”
“Canada’s large air carriers commend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s continued focus on improving the competitiveness of our travel and tourism sectors,” said National Airlines Council of Canada Executive Director Marc-André O’Rourke. “Canada’s aviation sector creates jobs and economic activity across a wide spectrum of industries and expands markets for tourism. While these benefits are significant, unfortunately the aviation sector is being hindered from achieving its full potential. With proper public policy adjustments, the aviation sector could be contributing even more,” added O’Rourke.
The Chamber calls on the Government of Canada to substantially increase marketing efforts to attract visitors from emerging and mature markets and implement a cross-sectional examination of the travel sector with special attention to the high public costs assumed by aviation customers.
About the Canadian Airports Council
The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), a division of Airports Council International-North America, is the voice for Canada’s airports community. Its 46 members represent more than 120 airports, including all of the privately operated National Airports System (NAS) airports and many municipal airports across Canada. Together, CAC members handle virtually all of the nation’s air cargo and international passenger traffic, and 95% of domestic passenger traffic. In 2012, Canada’s air transportation industry had a $34.9 billion economic footprint, supported 405,000 jobs, and federal taxes of more than $7 billion.
About the National Airlines Council of Canada
The National Airlines Council of Canada is the trade association representing Canada’s largest national and international passenger air carriers: Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet. It promotes safe, sustainable and competitive air travel through the development of policies, regulations and legislation that foster a world class transportation system. Collectively, its member airlines carry over 50 million passengers annually and directly employ 43,000 people.