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Canada and tourism


  • Contents
  • Introduction 2
  • Canada in Brief 3
  • Canada as a country with developed tourism industry 4
    • Transportation in Canada 4
    • Accommodation 9
    • Catering service 11
      • Cousine 11
      • Caterers 12
  • Tourism industry 17
  • Conclusion 22
  • Literature 24


Canada is the second biggest country in the World - it takes one week non-stop to drive across the country coast to coast. Only parts of this huge territory are unhabited, as most Canadians live within 200 kilometers of the USA border.

Although one can feel the American modern life influence, Canada generally is safer and quieter than the USA. We are not allowed to carry guns! Canada has a much smaller population and more wilderness than our neighbors to the south.

Canada is very multicultural, with over 100 ethnic/linguistic minorities accounting for 40% of the population. It has always prefered multiculturalism over assimilation, but now suffers identity problems: one multicultural nation, or many different nations in one country? Quebecer and natives, respectively 25% and 2% of the population, clearly (and legally) define themselves as a nation.

The main cities are interesting and very multicultural. Forests, mountains, coastlines, islands, vast wilderness, and arctic areas are also fantastic. The central Prairies will appeal to those that love big sky view and open plains.

The West coast is great, it has beautiful nature and laid-back people, but the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes valley has more history.

The canadian Hospitality Club network, proportionally to the population size, is the most important in the Americas. Otherwise there are lots of camping grounds and cheap hostels.

The climate is cold and icy in winter except on the West Coast. In summer it is warm to hot in the south, cold in the Arctic East side, warm in the Artic west coast.

Top Things to See and Do: Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Inside Passage to Alaska, Coast Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise, Badlands, Yukon-Whitehorse dogsledding, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec Old walled city, Sault Ste. Marie, The Canadian Shield, Gaspesie, Mont-Tremblant. Neighboring countries: USA and Russia.

Canada in Brief

Landscape: Mountains, Prairies, Desert, Arctic Tundra, Glaciers, Valleys, Foothills, Rivers, Lakes, 9,976,000 sq km (3.9 million sq mi).

Population: 30 Million.

Capital city: Ottawa, Ontario (pop: 1,010,500).

People: British descent (28%), French descent (23%), Italian descent (3%), aboriginal peoples (2%), plus significant minorities of German, Ukrainian, Dutch, Greek, Polish and Chinese.

Languages: English, French and 53 native languages.

Religion: Catholic (45%), Protestant (36%) and minorities from most of the world's major religions.

Government: Parliamentary democracy.

Prime Minister: Paul Martin.

GDP:  US$774 billion.

GDP per head: US$25,000.

Primary sectors: services 74%, manufacturing 15%, construction 5%, agriculture 3%, other 3%.

Annual growth: 3%.

Major products/industries: processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, transportation equipment, chemicals, fish products, petroleum and natural gas.

Major trading partners: USA, Japan, EU (UK, Germany, Netherlands), China and South Korea.

Political Divisions: Key Attractions, Transportation, Wildlife.

Canada as a country with developed tourism industry

Transportation in Canada

There are five primary modes of transportation in Canada - air, road, rail, water and pipeline. Depending on the circumstances, one mode of transportation usually dominates over the others. Air transportation is becoming increasingly important in today's world. TransCanada Airline, which began in 1937 was Canada's first airline. In its humble beginnings, it had 10 passenger airplanes and one crop duster. In 1965 the company changed its name to Air Canada, and today has 157 aircraft serving 545 destinations around the world, and is Canada's largest airline. Air Canada's main competition --Canadian Pacific Airlines --began operation in 1942. By 1969, the new airline had links to the far East, Australia, and South America. In 1968, Canadian Pacific Airlines became CP Air. In total, Canada has 515 airports with paved runways, 878 with unpaved runways and 17 heliports. Ontario alone has more than 60 airports with scheduled flights and 20 that service jet aircraft. Ontario handles 40% of Canada's national passenger traffic through the Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto. This airport serves 45 different countries around the world. It is also ranked fourth in North America in terms of the number of international passengers using the airport. The heliports are used primarily by Helicopter Transport Services which opened in Timmins, Ontario in 1974, and now operate throughout Canada and the United States. The helicopters are used for news broadcasts, air ambulance services, executive transport, aerial construction, police aviation and sightseeing. However, they are used most extensively in the resource sector, serving the forestry and mining companies. While airplanes are very attractive for longer journeys, most people prefer the automobile for shorter distances.

Road transportation is most competitive over small distances and offers the most spatially unrestricted form of transport in Canada. Following World War II, large sums of money were poured into the construction of a road network in Canada. In 1962, the TransCanada Highway was officially opened. At 7 821 kilometers, the TransCansda Highway is the longest national highway in the world stretching from St. John's, Newfoundland to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The highway varies from a two-lane road to a limited access divided highway, which breaks into two different routes in northern Ontario and out west. The main southern route stays within one hour of the Canada-US border and runs along the northern shores of the Great, while the more scenic route runs farther north along wild rivers, untouched lakes, many small towns and various kinds of wildlife. At Portage- la- Prairie just west of Winnipeg, the highway breaks into two routes again with the main route crossing the southern edge of three prairie provinces and the northern route running up through Yorkton and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where it becomes the Yellowhead Highway. Throughout its entirety, the TransCanada Highway is marked by highway signs bearing a green and white maple leaf. Mile zero is marked by a monument in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Starting here and traveling east, the highway passes through the Kicking Horse Pass in the Rocky Mountains, Kamloops and the prairies, the forests of the Canadian Shield and the Atlantic provinces.

The only province that does not have a portion of the highway is Prince Edward Island. Along with the TransCanada Highway, Canada has numerous smaller provincial highways and roads. In 1995 there was an estimated 1 million kilometers of highways in the country -- 358 371 kilometers paved and 662 629 kilometers unpaved. In Ontario, there are 72 000 kilometers of paved roads and highways, putting 40% of the total population of North America within a 24 hour drive of the province. Highway 401 is Ontario's main highway, allowing people to travel from Windsor, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. It has a minimum of four lanes but reaches 14 lanes in Metropolitan Toronto. Secondary highways (502 - 673) exist only in northern Ontario, and are often not paved and are used to connect remote areas to major provincial roads. Tertiary highways are also exclusive to northern Ontario, are mostly gravel and connect all the remote areas that secondary highways do not reach. Territory highways have a tendency to end suddenly at a river, lake or other feature. Before highway travel and automobiles became the main ways of traveling, the train was widely used as a means of getting goods and people from one place to another.

The first railway began operation in 1854 and was the primary method of moving unprocessed resources from remote areas to industrial centers. In 1881, Canada's first transcontinental railway -- the Canadian Pacific Railroad -- was established by a Calgary-based company. This railroad covers 25, 000 square kilometers and connects the Atlantic and Pacific coasts with the interior of North America. It links major Canadian cities and 16 Midwest and northeastern US states. Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) is a freight railway that transports food (sugar, canned goods, molasses, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables etc.), consumer manufactured products (firebrick, concrete, girders, household appliances, rubber, cotton etc.), and also handles larger volumes of two-way traffic within North America for importers and exporters. The second transcontinental railway in Canada is the Canadian National Railway (CNR) . Established between 1917 - 1923, the railway incorporates the Old Grand Trunk Railway, Grand Trunk Pacific, Intercolonial, Canadian Northern and National Transcontinental Railway. CNR connects Halifax in the east to Vancouver and Prince Rupert in the west with the Gulf Coast through Chicago and New Orleans. Covering some 72 963 kilometers of track, the railway has more than 85, 000 railcars and carries mainly coal, grain and petroleum. Canada also has railways that specialize in passenger transport.

Canadian Passenger Rail Service provides rail transport to many places in Canada through its connections with other passenger train companies in the country. The Algoma Central Railway provides passenger service from Sault St. Marie to Hearst, while AMT operates in Montreal. The Ontario Northland Railway offers travel from North Bay up to Moosonee and the Quebec North Shore and Labrador, and the West Coast Express services western Canada. BC Rail is the third largest freight/passenger service train behind CNR and CPR. Formally know as the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1912 and the British Columbia Railway in 1972, it became known as BC Rail in 1984. It has 1 573 kilometers of line from North Vancouver to Fort Nelson and operates mainly on the west coast. VIA Rail runs trains throughout Canada on a need only basis.

There are four main categories of VIA Rail trains operating within Canada: 1) corridor trains that run from eastern Quebec City to Windsor, Ontario 2) western trains that make trips from Toronto to Vancouver, stopping in Sudbury, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper and Kamloops -- a journey that takes three days 3) eastern trains -- the 'Chaleur' and the 'Ocean' which travel between Montreal and Gaspe and Montreal and Halifax, respectively. 4) northern trains -- Skeena, Saguenay & Abitibi and The Hudson Bay --that run in Alberta, Northern Quebec and Manitoba respectively. Water transport in Canada occurs mainly on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, which is a series of locks, canals and channels which link the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Lawrence River to Ontario and the upper Great Lakes.

The system extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the city of Lakehead on the west shore of Lake Superior. The seaway provides access to 15 major and 50 minor ports from late March to early December, and consists of more than 245 752 square kilometers of navigable waters. The seaway directly serves Canada's two largest provinces, Quebec and Ontario, as well as a number of US states including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. More than 40 provincial and interstate highways connect the seaway ports with key cities in the US and Canada, and nearly 30 railway companies serve the ports by moving bulk, break-bulk, and heavy cargo. Approximately, 90% of the cargo carried by ships on the seaway is bulk cargo such as grain, iron ore, coal and petroleum (10%). Grain is the largest cargo by volume (40%) as it is primarily a US and Canadian export. Iron pellets are also shipped from mines in Labrador, Quebec, Ontario and Minnesota to mines located on the great lakes. Approximately 60% of the traffic in the seaway is from overseas. Canada Steamship Lines operates 12 vessels on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. Their vessels consist of self-unloading bulk carriers with inland, coastal and deep-sea traveling capabilities.

The company has the largest fleet of self unloading vessels in the world that carries 30 million tonnes of bulk load annually; one ship is capable of discharging 6 000 tonnes per hour in a continuous operation. The company is headquartered in Montreal and has offices in Halifax, Winnipeg, Burlington and Singapore. Since 1845 it has been supplying North America with raw materials for their steel and thermal station power plants. In the beginning, Canada Steamship Lines served only the Great Lakes regions but has now expanded to the east and west coasts, the Caribbean, South America, Europe and the far East. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents companies who transport more than 95% of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. Its member companies, which include Foothills Pipe Line Ltd., NOVA Gas Transmissions and Trans Canada Pipelines Ltd., operate more than 100 000 kilometers of Canada's 540 000 kilometers of pipelines. The company has operations in British Columbia, NorthWest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and in 1997 the total volume of natural gas exported was 5. 6 trillion cubic feet. Pipelines are important because they connect oil and natural gas producers in remote areas of Canada with urban markets. They allow gas produced on one side of the country to be used to heat homes on the other side. For example, much of the crude oil produced in the western provinces is shipped by pipeline to Quebec and eastern Canada. Pipelines are also the most cost efficient way of transporting oil and natural gas. The cost of moving oil through a pipeline is 10% of the cost of the barrel, which in 1997 was $27. 00 (Cdn). Oil and natural gas travel through pipelines under pressure. From here the raw materials are sent to transmission lines. These in turn carry the oil and gas to large oil and gas corporations which then send it out to homes and businesses through smaller distribution lines. One of the companies that is a member of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association is Foothills Pipeline Ltd. . Formed in the mid-70's in Calgary, the company is now one of Canada's largest transporter of natural gas; it can transport up to 2. 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day through its 927 kilometers of pipeline.

Of all the natural gas exported from Canada to the US, Foothills Pipeline transports 1/3 of it and in 1998, moved 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas into the United States. TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. is also one of North America's leading natural gas transporters. It has 13 955 kilometers of interprovincial pipelines, numerous pumping plants located all over the country and supplies 45% of North America's natural gas. By the year 2000 a new pipeline will be built called the Alliance Pipeline. It will be 3 100 kilometers in length and will be used to transport natural gas from western Canada to Chicago, Illinois. The pipeline will begin at Fort St. John, British Columbia and will extend through Alberta to Chicago where it will join the North American pipeline grid. The Canadian portion of the pipeline will consist of 340 kilometers of 1 067 millimeter and 1 220 kilometers of 914 millimeter diameter steel pipe. There will be seven main compressor stations and mainline block valves spaced every 32 kilometers These five main modes of transportation -- air, road, rail, water and pipeline --are extremely important to the Canadian economy. At one time or another each dominated the Canadian transportation sector. Because of Canada's large geographical area one type of transportation cannot provide service to every part of the country. Therefore all five modes necessary components of Canadian transportation.


A wide range of hotels is available for temporary stays upon arrival in Canada. A Canadian hotel is defined as having inside access, private rooms, and daily cleaning service. It is always best to make reservations in advance, and during the peak tourist season, it is essential. From May until August, hotels are booked most heavily (90 per cent full), and finding a reasonable place to stay without a reservation can be challenging if not impossible. Although most reservations can be made with a week's notice, be sure to check ahead for any major festivals or events as it will be more difficult to reserve rooms during these times.

Hotel services, price and quality vary. Rooms in larger cities will generally be more expensive. In general, however, you will find hotels in Canada to be clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. Most hotels accept major credit cards, and reservations can be made either directly or by a travel agent in your home country.

Here are some general estimates for the cost of hotel accommodation per night. Please note that prices vary according to occupancy rates, location and season.

Low price range: $45-$75 CDN (It is advised to carefully check accommodation in this price range, as good quality hotels at these prices can be difficult to find, particularly in large cities.)

Moderate price range: $55-$135 CDN

Expensive price range: $135-$250 CDN

Five-Star Hotel price range: $250 CDN & upwards


Another temporary accommodation option is the bed-and-breakfast. Rooms are located in private homes or locally-run establishments, and the cost includes your own room and a generous breakfast. Many rooms do not have private toilets and baths. Bed-and-breakfast accommodation comes in a variety of forms - it can be in a heritage home, modern townhouse, rural farmhouse, or seaside home. Most establishments are registered with a professional association, and are a great way to meet local people.

Average cost of a room in a bed-and-breakfast: $35 to $105 CDN per night.

Youth Hostels/YWCA/YMCA

Hostelling is a temporary and inexpensive way to stay in major cities. Accommodation is basic but economical, and primary facilities (toilets, baths and kitchens) are shared. Rates are calculated daily, and costs are less than other accommodation choices. A Canadian hostel must be inspected and approved by the Canadian Hostelling Association.

Average cost of a room in a hostel: $10 - $20 CDN per night.

For further information, you can contact the International Youth Hostelling Association in your own country; or for information on hostels in Canada, contact:

Hostelling International - Canada

400-205 Catherine Street

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada K2P 1C3

Tel: (613) 237-7884 or 1-800-663-5777

Fax: (613) 237-7868

E-mail: info@hostellingintl.ca

The YWCA/YMCA hotels are also inexpensive, clean, safe and comfortable. Many of these establishments also have pools and fitness centres. Keep in mind, though, that hostels and YWCA/YMCAs fill up quickly during the summer months, so you should plan ahead.

Average cost of a room in a YWCA/YMCA: $24 - $45 CDN per night.

For more information contact:

YWCA of Canada

590 Jarvis Street

5th Floor

Toronto, ON

Canada M4Y 2J4

Tel: (416) 962-8881

Fax: (416) 962-8084

E-mail: national@ywcacanada.ca

Catering service


Canadians like to eat. Recent statistics show we are some of the chubbier people on the planet. Two factors contribute to our state of girth: long, harsh winters which make it difficult to venture outside to get much exercise beyond shovelling the driveway and our, fatty, fried food diet. Here then is a tour of Canadian cuisine. Poutine - Invented in the late 1950's in Quebec, this artery clogging dish consists of thick cut french fries and cheese curds covered in turkey gravy.

Many restaurants offer imitations (the McDonald's and Burger King versions are abominable) but accept no substitutes - only turkey gravy and cheese curds will do. Doughnuts - also spelled "donuts"- this food isn't especially Canadian but a hockey player named Tim Horton opened a chain of 24 hour donut shops which have become omnipresent sight on off ramps across this land.

Bagels - other than that the best ones are, without doubt, found in Montreal, these too are more Yiddish than Canadian (not that the two are mutually exclusive of course) but another hockey great, Darryl Sittler, is attempting to outdo Tim Horton by opening up a chain of bagel shops across Canada.

Try the spinach cream cheese. It's quite good. Beer - According to the Canada Food Guide, one should have mostly grains in their diet.

The hops and barley in beer should handle that. Maple Syrup - Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima are shysters.

Real maple syrup costs, like, ten dollars a bottle and tastes far nicer on your pancakes.


There are two main sectors within the catering industry; contract caterers and social event, or banquet caterers. The contract catering market is dominated by large national firms and chain operations, like Marriott Corporation, which manage and operate foodservice facilities such as cafeterias and camps on a contract basis. Institutions, industry and businesses comprise the main markets for contract caterers and many operations focus on serving a specific market's foodservice needs.

Industrial contract caterers specialize in providing foodservice to workers at industrial sites such as mines and oil rigs and also provide foodservice at remote sites such as tree planting locations. Business caterers focus on operating full-scale cafeterias as well as vending and mobile carts that provide foodservice to employees of a variety of businesses. Institutional caterers serve Canada's large number of hospitals and nursing homes, universities and colleges, public school and prison facilities.

A comprehensive survey of foodservice operations across the country shows a brisk demand for catering. Operators of every stripe are finding ways to exploit the trend, seeing their talented staffs and idle kitchens as sources of untapped potential. Even the most unlikely players are getting into the act. Managers of institutional feeders such as schools, hospitals, and corporate dining halls have stepped outside their traditional roles and into the world of catering.

The growing market for catered events has fueled an effort to use all available capacity. We're not just talking about weddings and bar mitzvahs. Business events now dominate the market for catering.

Catered events are increasingly taking place within walking distance from the caterer's kitchen -- on premises. This surveys also shows that catering jobs come in all sizes, and most of them are relatively intimate.

So you might ask yourself: why am I not catering? Or, if you are catering to groups in your dining room or loading a truck with trays every weekend, how can you do it better?

Frequency. Catering is a volume business. Social caterers and hoteliers typically cater at least one event every day, usually more. They have a voracious appetite for bookings and the capability of handling up to 100 functions a month.

As worn out as operators of fine dining restaurants might be, more than one-third cater in excess of 13 functions per month. Most of these take place in their restaurants.

Among the non-commercial operators, hospitals, colleges, and contract employee feeders wrack up the catering jobs. They serve patients, students and employees. And, they cater events, usually for fewer than 50 people, on their premises. These kitchens are running a type of room service with small groups eating and meeting in rooms throughout the facility.

The survey also shows sharp differences in the aggressiveness of kitchens run by contract operators over those managed by the institutions themselves. Most contractors tackled more than 13 events per month; whereas, almost 60% of the self-run operations settled for less.

Who works the jobs? Entering the catering business to offer staff more hours will probably work. Restaurants and hotels rely on existing wait-staff for catering jobs, often reinforcing them with casual hires, including family members. Social caterers show an especially high tendency to tap family, since their work force must ebb and flow in response to bookings.

Busiest seasons: "If you're not prepared to take a hit in January and February and think this is a flat-line business, then you shouldn't be in this business," says Shelly Pedersen, a longtime caterer and President of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE). But, catering's seasonality makes sense. Family restaurants, with their casual fare, see catering opportunities rise with summer temperatures. Schools respond to busy classrooms and academic activities in spring and fall. Most other catering operations post their best receipts in winter -- largely due to intensive holiday catering. Balancing Pedersen's warning against the fat winter numbers, one can fully appreciate the frenzied holiday party season.

Business vs. social: Hidden in the unremarkable splits between the business and the social markets is a surprising strength among family restaurants in catering business functions. They report that more than 71 per cent of their catering dollars come from business and corporate clients.

Businesses and corporations obviously keep the catering phenomenon alive. Even schools (66 percent of them) cater business events. In fact, there are more schools handling corporate events than handling community meetings, according to the survey.

Social caterers most often answer the call for ethnic theme parties. According to Kramer, the rise in international corporate affiliations has opened the field for ethnic themes. If a firm opens a new branch in China, for instance, get ready for dragons and fireworks. She also points out the care with which ethnic themes must be executed. "Corporations have to be in tune with their audience. Once you've done enough research, you can create a theme with wonderful ambiance. Anytime you can theme an event and be socially, politically, and morally correct, you've got a hit.

On-premises vs. off: Family restaurants serve more catered meals outside than inside. And even fine dining restaurants attribute 41% of their catering sales to off-premises events.

Social caterers rely on attractive facilities and settings for their parties. With demand rising, good rooms are scarce. Therein lies an opportunity that restaurants are seizing with banquet rooms and off-night functions. Besides, off-premise catering often presents unseen dangers. "The science of the food is different," says Shelly Pedersen. "As are the equipment needs and the demands on the staff."

Average size group: The flexibility and experience of social caterers seems to allow them to handle large crowds. Volume can widen profit margins and social caterers, who fight for budget against rent and liquor costs, often make their money head by head. On the whole, gatherings of 100 or less dominate the catering service.

Table service vs. buffet: The popularity of buffets continues with one notable exception. Within these figures, resorts and hotels report serving half their catered meals at table. Family restaurants boost buffet scores among commercial operators, since they offer table service at less than ten per cent of the events they handle. Even among fine dining restaurants, however, buffets remain more popular than table service.

Ginger Kramer sees the popularity of buffets continuing and increasing along with the demand for theme parties. "Themes are hot", she says. "And it's much easier to attach a theme to a buffet than to a single plate." She also points to the greater variety available at a buffet and its effect on social dynamics. Buffets allow party-goers to mingle throughout the room. Table service confines them to one table.

Where's the money? Commercial operations vary in their commitment to catering; social caterers live by it; and non commercials seem to take care of their own people. These variations make direct analysis of profit margins hard to ascertain. But one conclusion is obvious: with 50 per cent of the commercial operators, 78 per cent of social caterers, and a 25 per cent of non-commercial operators making more than $10,000 per year, catering is alive and growing.

The future: Results show that respondents see healthy growth in every market for catering. The highest numbers in each category reflect the strength of each type of caterer. Non-commercials see potential in on-premises events, as do commercial caterers. Ginger Kramer agrees. "There simply aren't enough banquet facilities and special event sites," she says. The survey confirms Kramer's assertion that caterers who do both on and off-premises events will achieve the greatest business success.

Tourism industry

At the federal level tourism is the responsibility of the minister of state for small business and tourism through Tourism Canada in the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion. The promotion and development of tourism through a designated federal agency dates from 1934. The recognized national industry association is the Ottawa-based Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). It is an umbrella organization representing private sector companies, organizations, institutions and individuals engaged in tourism in Canada and working in partnership with provincial and territorial tourism-industry associations. TIAC has represented the Canadian tourism industry for 69 years and exists to lobby government, to communicate with industry, and to increase public awareness of the importance of tourism and the need for public support.

Tourism dates back to the early history of Canada. Writings by the early explorers and traders contributed to the growing knowledge of the Canadian landscape, still the primary attraction of Canada's tourism industry (see EXPLORATION AND TRAVEL LITERATURE). From the mid-18th to the early 19th century TOPOGRAPHIC PAINTERS recorded an idealized landscape, scenes that were often reproduced as engravings in travel books published in Europe. The CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY, through its rail and steamship services, its hotels and publicity campaigns, attracted affluent European and American tourists to Canada. Modern travel and the opportunity for mass travel came with the jet airplane. Business travel illustrates the degree of change: travel and related expenses are the third-largest expenditure of Canadian business, after payroll and data-processing expenditures. Canadian companies spent $3 billion in 1986.

The Canadian tourism industry requires sophisticated marketing, delivering value and service. Beginning in 1984 Canada experienced a turnaround following 10 years of decline during which its balance of payments deficit on the international travel account grew from $300 million to $2.2 billion. Nineteen eighty-six was an exceptional year: foreign visitors increased 18%. The primary reasons for this growth were EXPO 86 in Vancouver, a favourable exchange rate with the US, an aggressive federal government advertising campaign in the US and negative incidents in other parts of the world which discouraged N Americans from travelling overseas. The best potential new source for travellers to Canada is likely in the Pacific Rim countries. Arrivals from Japan and Hong Kong are expected to show an increase, continuing an upward trend that started in 1979. Australia remains stable. The US continues to be Canada's primary source of visitors; they comprise over 85% of our tourism market. Traditional European markets, including the UK, France, W Germany and the Netherlands, are expected to produce moderate growth over the next few years.

Contemporary Canadian tourist attractions are often the same as those extolled by early travel writers - the fjorded coast of BC, the majestic grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, the wide open spaces of the Prairies, the lakes, forests and rivers of central Canada, the Atlantic coast in its infinite variety of bays, coves, beaches and scenic vistas, the arctic environment and people, and, of course, such old favourites as NIAGARA FALLS. The works of humans have been added to these natural assets through the development of modern and sophisticated cities, and through galleries and museums, performing arts, historic sites, FESTIVALS, and events such as Expo 86, the CALGARY STAMPEDE and winter OLYMPIC GAMES. To most of the world Canada is known as a tourist destination through its scenery, space and environment.

During the review period, the travel and tourism industry was under constant pressure beginning in 2001 with the terrorist attacks. In 2003, the industry was tainted by the war in Iraq, which caused uneasiness about travel, the SARS outbreak in Toronto and a sluggish US economy. SARS was contained within two months of the outbreak, despite a second unexpected resurgence, but the damage brought on by a WHO travel advisory was done. The impact of these events was greatest on international tourism, followed by US visitors to Canada, but was not expected to significantly influence Canadians' decisions to travel.

Domestic tourism, which accounted for the bulk of the Canadian tourism industry, remained firm during the review period, with continuing popularity particularly among the older generation, highlighting the desire to stay close to home, which resulted from security and economic concerns. However, more cautious spending patterns emerged towards the end of the review period, per capita expenditure for domestic trip fell by 6% since 2000, but a drop of less than 1% over the review period as a whole. Overall, the WTO ranked Canada as ninth in the world's top 15 destinations for travel, capturing 2. 8% of the total international travel market at its last ranking, in 2001. Demographic trends remained largely intact. Greying populations worldwide, including Canada, will mean demand for structured tourism products such as pre-packaged and all-inclusive tours and cruises and quality accommodations.

Women are also increasingly becoming a larger proportion of Canadian travellers. The accommodation market suffered towards the end of the review period. Hardest hit was Toronto, suffering losses of C$5million per day in April, as many major conventions cancelled their reservations due to SARS. Accommodations across Ontario also reported losses, but not nearly as significant as those in Toronto. Through the review period, accommodation revenue increased by 9. 7%. Hotels struggled to keep up occupancy levels and in 2003 there were tremendous value deals available in hotels. In such a competitive environment, alternative, no-frills accommodation benefited, such as hostels and guesthouses. Consumers were also more likely to stay with international brand names, such as Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Merger and acquisition activity dropped off significantly in almost all areas of the travel and tourism industry.

The tone in the industry as a whole was, at best, to maintain market share and revenue with strong efforts made to avoid losing ground because of the tough economic environment. There were no significant mergers and acquisitions in 2003, although as the economy improves, through 2004 and 2005 the levels of activity may turn around.

Canada's travel deficit, pushed down to its lowest level in more than 10 years, is benefiting from an influx of American tourism dollars.

The deficit declined by 42.1 per cent to $1.4 billion in the first nine months of 1998, down from $2.4 billion during the same period in 1997.

Foreign spending, up 11.2 per cent from the same period last year and valued at $11.1 billion, largely accounts for this decrease. Meanwhile Canadian tourism spending abroad also rose 0.7 per cent to $12.5 billion.

"The record number of Americans visiting Canada combined with fewer Canadians vacationing in the U.S. has resulted in a huge shift in the international travel account," explained Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) chairman Judd Buchanan. "This has buffered the impact of the drop in visits and spending by tourists from many of our primary overseas markets, particularly Japan, France and Germany."

What key factors are responsible for this boom in Canada's tourism industry?

"Canadians are doing more internal travel because of the low value of our dollar, but that's not the motivating factor for Americans," explains John Olsthoorn, a spokesman for the Canadian Tourism Commission. "The economic situation in the U.S. is positive, with low unemployment and high consumer confidence, which means that people have more discretionary funds."

Olsthoorn notes that Canada also offers Americans what they want: safe cities, the great outdoors, and friendly people. Another key factor is the Open Skies Agreement, which has opened more Canadian airports to direct flights from the U.S. This gives Americans more choices about flying into Canada.

"Americans can afford to travel more and they are choosing Canada in record numbers because it offers them what they want to see and do," added Christena Keon Sirsly, chair of CTC's U.S. leisure marketing committee and vice-president of marketing at VIA Rail Canada Inc. "Once in Canada, many of them realize their U.S. dollar goes further and they end up spending more."

This is clear when you look at the changes to Canada's travel deficit with the U.S. Total tourism receipts from the U.S. jumped 23.7 per cent, while Canadian tourism spending in the U.S. fell 3.2 per cent. The overall result is that Canada's travel deficit with the U.S. plunged 67.1 per cent to $788 million.

In contrast, overseas tourism receipts fell $230 million, while Canadians' overseas spending rose $347 million, increasing Canada's travel deficit with the rest of the world by $578 million during the first nine months of 1998.

Marketing is the final factor in the boom in Canada's tourism industry. In addition to vigorously marketing Canada to potential tourists from the U.S. and overseas, CTC has forged partnerships with Statistics Canada (which produces the International Travel Account), the provinces and territories, private industry and universities helping to make Canada the world leader in tourism-economic research.

There are some facts about domestic tourism.

Domestic Tourism Demand, Third Quarter 2003 

· Domestic demand steady while foreign expenditures down

· Domestic expenditures reached $11.4 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2003, an increase of 3.2% over the previous year, which represents the sixth consecutive year-over-year gain..

· Foreign spending in the third quarter 2003 decreased 10% to $6.3 billion compared to the same quarter in 2002. This is the third consecutive quarterly decline in foreign spending.

· Spending at home remained weak while Canadians increased touring abroad, thus the share of domestic spending was reduced to 64%.

· In comparison to the second quarter 2003, seasonally adjusted third quarter 2003 domestic spending was up 4.1% and foreign spending was up 3.3% (seasonally adjusted).

· The year-over-year data contrasts the quarter-to-quarter, the first being attributed to continued decreases in spending by international visitors.


Canada is the largest country in land size in the western hemisphere with a population of only 29 million people. Its form of government can be characterized as a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. It comprises of 10 provinces and 3 territories, with Toronto; Montreal and Vancouver being the largest cities. Canada is a young and dynamic country where immigration is the foundation for economic growth and which brings people, customs and traditions, rituals and culture to the forefront of current Government policy.

Canada is a very large country geographically with a widely dispersed population. The economy still relies heavily on primary resources, which requires that goods be transported from one end of the country to the other. Subsequently, reliable and efficient modes of transportation are quite important in Canada, probably more so than in some other countries.

Caterers are primarily engaged in serving meals by mobile canteens or on private premises including halls, schools, factories, hospitals, offices and camps. Except for small single functions, catering is normally done on an annual contract basis.

This section has been developed to indicate how certain companies redefine their workplace, position themselves to take competitive advantage of emerging niches and adapt to ever increasing public and private sector flows of information and education. It indicates both positive and negative responses to the marketplace.

Illegal basement caterers have driven some Edmonton operators to form a professional society in an effort to clean up the industry.

The Catering Professionals Association of Alberta is recruiting new members to add to the 19 companies already in the group. "When you think about it, you can put some food out without a whole lot of overhead or expertise," says Todd Rutter, owner of A Cappella Catering and head of the new organization. "But the problem is to do it properly, to do it legally and, therefore, safely, it requires much more than that."

About 200 caterers are listed in the Edmonton Yellow Pages. An undetermined number operate without licenses or health permits, said Steven Probert, a public health inspector. "The guys who go legal spend a lot of money only to be driven under financially by these illegal operations."

To operate legally caterers must have a valid business license, a health permit and liability insurance. They're obliged to make payments to Revenue Canada and workers' compensation. They must also meet building code standards with proper heating and ventilation systems -- all of which cost money.

Rick Dimock, the city's food program co-ordinator responsible for inspections, said inspectors are always watching out for people who operate illegally. "We know it happens, but the only way we find out about it is if we get a complaint from someone or we run into it."

The city implemented a new system last October whereby inspectors make three visits a year to each of the larger companies. The new catering association hopes that setting rigid membership requirements and encouraging as large a membership as possible will stop people from getting away with breaking the law.

Accommodations in Canada -- the place to visit for bed and breakfasts, lodging, hotels, motels, resorts, inns and attractions across Canada who offer their guests a friendly mix of modern comfort, old world charm and warm hospitality.

Visitors from outside Canada make tourism Canada's fifth-largest earner of foreign exchange after motor vehicles, auto parts, crude petroleum and newsprint. The bulk of Canada's tourism comes from Canadians travelling in and exploring their own country. On the international travel account, Canada has a falling share of the international market and a $1.2-billion deficit: Canadians spent $7.5 billion outside Canada. Catering to tourists in Canada involves many large companies and about 100 000 small and medium-sized businesses, including almost 300 000 hotel and motel rooms, more than 45 000 eating places and 4000 travel agencies. These businesses serve over 34 million visitors a year. Every 100 000 visitors to a community can mean $9 million in revenue throughout the local economy.


1. Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management, Supplement, Fall, 2007.

2. http://canada.gc.ca

3. Christine Lindop. Canada. Oxford University Press. 2001.

4. Canadian Press Newswire, March 6, 2005.

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