The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is calling on the province to take steps to close a major economic gap.
Ontario missed out on $16 billion in visitor spending between 2006 and 2012 according to the Chamber’s latest report.
The calculations are based on average global growth within the industry.
Chamber President and CEO, Allan O’Dette, says it’s time for the Ontario government to implement a long term tourism strategy with measurable targets.
In 2013, the report says tourism contributed $25 billion to the province’s GDP.
Using this as a starting point O’Dette says the government should consider “what would be realistic to grow that business out over the next twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six months.”
To grow by two to three per cent, the current global rate, he adds, there needs to be an appropriate amount of investment.
The Chamber is also encouraging the province to look a various obstacles to innovation and entrepreneurialism within the tourism industry by making it part of the red tape challenge.
O’Dette suggests a concerted effort to get more Americans on this side of the border as well, given the weak Canadian dollar.