Media Release

Manitoba Tourism Sector to be Well Represented at the National Level with Appointment to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Board of Directors

December 5, 2013: Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba’s tourism industry will have a louder voice at the table of the national advocacy group for the Canadian tourism industry. Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.’s president and CEO, Marina R. James, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).

James joins Robert Pratt, president of Coast Hotels and Resorts, David Whitaker, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto, Steve Sammut, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Rocky Mountaineer, and Cathy Duke, CEO of Destination St. John’s in their newly elected positions this past Monday, December 2, 2013. The last representative from Winnipeg was Ida Albo, managing partner of The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre, in the early 2000s.

TIAC is the only national organization representing the full cross-section of Canada's $84.8 billion tourism industry. The association is responsible for representing tourism interests at the national level. Its advocacy work involves promoting and supporting policies, programs and activities that will benefit the sector's growth and development.

“I am excited to represent the interests of Manitoba and within that, the city of Winnipeg. To have a voice on the TIAC board of directors will help us share our tourism and travel industry point of view on issues that limit our competitiveness and ability to drive increased visitation,” said Marina R. James, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “If we want to grow Canada’s tourism industry we have to support increased investment in our national brand, advertising in primary markets, and enhance Canada’s ability to expedite the visitor visa process.”

Winnipeg’s tourism sector is a key driver of economic growth and employment, supporting 44,000 people; tourism spending directly supports 11,000 tourism-related jobs in Winnipeg. This includes a mixture of small, medium and large local, national and international businesses and not-for-profit organizations. In 2011, Winnipeg welcomed four million visitors with a total visitor spend of $647 million. This sector of the economy will only continue to grow in importance with increased visitation anticipated as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights opens in September of 2014.

“It’s terrific to have Manitoba represented on the board of TIAC,” said Colin Ferguson, president and CEO of Travel Manitoba. “TIAC’s identification of issues around marketing, access and product are important to all of us in tourism, regardless of jurisdiction, and their work benefits all of Canada.”

TIAC assists in efforts to increase tourism funding to ensure Canada is globally competitive. According to the United National World Tourism Office, tourism is the world’s 4th fastest growing industry, with one billion international travellers, $1 trillion in global revenues and 4% growth globally per year.

“The Tourism Industry Association of Canada diligently advocates for the need to increase Canada’s competitive advantage on an international level,” said Barry Rempel, president & CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “We are glad to note Marina James will be giving voice to this region’s tourism industry and promoting the value of this incredibly important industry at a national level.”

Marina currently serves on the boards of directors of the International Economic Development Council and Destination Marketing Association International; she is also a director of the Consider Canada City Alliance. She has served on multiple boards and is a past chair of various organizations, including the Manitoba Hotel Association, Tourism Winnipeg, the Manitoba Tourism Education Council and Travel Manitoba’s executive committee. This latest appointment will aid in her efforts to be an effective voice for the Winnipeg tourism industry.

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About Economic Development Winnipeg
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg. EDW facilitates investment promotion and attraction, capacity building, tourism development, marketing and the management of market information. By applying competitive intelligence and by fostering relationships with industry leaders, government officials and community stakeholders, potential opportunities and innovation drivers are evaluated to develop key industries and define future economic growth. EDW supports targeted sector development and promotes Winnipeg’s diverse economy and high quality of life.

About Tourism Winnipeg
Tourism Winnipeg is the city’s official destination marketing organization. A division of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., Tourism Winnipeg’s mission is to facilitate a healthy, prosperous, responsible and fully-integrated tourism industry that enhances the city of Winnipeg’s economic growth through the acquisition of meetings, conventions, events, group travel and leisure tourism, while increasing visitation and delivering the best possible visitor experience.

For further information contact:
Aimee Goyer
Project Manager, Strategy & Planning
Economic Development Winnipeg
P: 204.954.1964
aimee@economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com
www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com

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