OTTAWA – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) applauds today’s official announcement by the Government of Canada to remove all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective Oct. 1, 2022. Cruise measures are also being lifted, and travellers will no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCan.
“For many months, we have been unequivocal in calling on the federal government to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on travel and ensure Canada’s global competitiveness in tourism,” says Beth Potter, President & CEO of TIAC, the national association that represents thousands of tourism businesses across the country. “We have been tireless in our efforts advocating on behalf of our members and the broader industry as we work to recover from the impact of the pandemic,” she says.
TIAC had been calling on the Government of Canada to permanently lift the vaccine requirement for travel for both domestic and international travellers, in addition to workers in the sector; to cease the practice of mandatory random testing for COVID-19 and replace this practice with wastewater testing for tracking future variants; and to either eliminate the ArriveCan application completely or else modify it to be used solely as a voluntary pre-entry declaration system.
“We are heartened the Government of Canada has heeded our calls, after two long, difficult and devastating years for our industry,” Potter says. “We are now focused on rebuilding tourism back to the $105 billion economic powerhouse it was pre-pandemic.”
The association is pleased that the Government of Canada is also moving to permanently lift the mandatory masking requirement on flights as other countries and trading blocs have done, such as the U.S. and European Union.
“We know airlines have the most highly-efficient air filtration systems and effective mitigation measures found anywhere, and that the levels of abuse and harassment of airline crews in enforcing mask mandates has skyrocketed,” adds Potter, noting that TIAC is currently gathering data with regard to the number of abuse incidents and that there is no other sector in Canada still mandating mask usage.
The tourism industry has faced significant challenges, despite the reopening of the country earlier this year, including a worsening labour shortage, supply chain disruptions, inflation at a 40-year high, rising interest rates and other increased costs, all of which are hampering the sector in its drive to recover.
Founded in 1930 to encourage the development of tourism in Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) serves today as the national private-sector advocate for this once-$105 billion sector. Based in Ottawa, TIAC represents tourism interests at the national level and its advocacy work involves promoting and supporting policies, programs, and activities that will benefit the sector’s growth and development.