Trans Canada Trail Supports Canada’s New Tourism Growth Strategy
Canada’s National Trail Pleased to see Trails Tourism Highlighted in new Strategy
On July 4, 2023, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism, announced the release of a new federal Tourism Growth Strategy (TGS) “Canada 365: Welcoming the World. Every Day.” The Strategy includes a commitment to trails tourism that Trans Canada Trail welcomes.
“We are delighted that the new federal Tourism Growth Strategy includes a Trails Tourism Strategy, and we thank the Honourable Randy Boissonnault for championing trails tourism and the Trans Canada Trail,” said Eleanor McMahon, Trans Canada Trail President & CEO.
“Since 2020, the Government of Canada has worked collaboratively with Trans Canada Trail in the development of a Trails Tourism Strategy for Canada, and we look forward to continuing this work, particularly given its inclusion in the new Tourism Growth Strategy,” McMahon added.
In the spring of 2020, Trans Canada Trail launched the development of Canada’s first national Trails Tourism Strategy, designed to elevate the tourism benefits of Canada’s amazing network of trails, inclusive of the world’s longest: the Trans Canada Trail. The insights from this process are reflected in the new TGS.
“Since its inception in 1992, the Trans Canada Trail has seen tremendous investments by governments (over $100 million federally), donors, trail organizations and volunteers across the country,” said McMahon.
“Leveraging those investments to support the communities, businesses and attractions along trail networks across Canada remains central to our work on the national Trails Tourism Strategy,” McMahon noted
Growing support for trails tourism and outdoor experiences
The consultation, research and partnership development work that went into the development of the national Trails Tourism Strategy has been, and continues to be, extensive. Trans Canada Trail is delighted to see some of that research highlighted in the new TGS – and to see the growing support for trails tourism and outdoor experiences highlighted therein.
Canada’s trails as world-class destinations
Trans Canada Trail supports the Tourism Growth Strategy’s commitments to a well-maintained network of trails and outdoor spaces, ensuring that trails will meet the demands of visitors, and be promoted as tourism opportunities at home and abroad.
“The Trans Canada Trail connects people to nature and to one another – and it is a powerful tourism asset. The commitments to destination development in the Tourism Growth Strategy make an important contribution to ensuring that Canada is a world-class destination and that trails are highlighted as one of Canada’s premier tourism products,” McMahon said.
“We look forward to continuing our work with governments across Canada, with our national tourism partners – Destination Canada, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada – as well as with local trail partners, trail users, and trail organizations across the country, in support of a comprehensive Trails Tourism Strategy for Canada,” McMahon noted. “And to leveraging the Trans Canada Trail as a key asset and contributor to Canada’s brand as a “premier outdoor, nature-based destination”, she added.
“Our research has identified that building the capacity of both local trail groups and the tourism sector is critical to creating a supportive local ecosystem. Mobilizing this ecosystem is a key component of ensuring high-quality visitor experiences – and investing in building this capacity has the added benefit of enhancing the sustainability of Canada’s trail networks,” said McMahon.
As developing this supportive ecosystem is one of the key pillars in establishing and sustaining Canada’s place on the world stage as a leader in trails tourism and outdoor experiences, Trans Canada Trail will continue to advocate that investments in the new TGS and in Trails Tourism include investments in building capacity at the local level.
“The inclusion of a Trails Tourism Strategy as part of a national approach is a first for Canada. We look forward to continued progress on Trails Tourism, and to continuing our focus on ensuring both effective destination development and the promotion of trails as connectors of visitors to nature, and to Canada’s vibrant attractions and communities,” McMahon added.