ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), highlighted the Harper Government's commitment to tourism and the role the industry plays in securing a strong economic recovery. Minister of State Moore made the comments as he addressed more than 400 stakeholders at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador's 2011 Lookout! Tourism Summit.

"Our government's top priority continues to be the economy and in regions across Canada—including here in Newfoundland and Labrador—tourism plays an important role in the economic well-being of our families and communities," said Minister of State Moore. "I am delighted to be here and meet the dynamic and innovative leaders who are dedicated to growing tourism in this remarkable province."

Each year the Lookout! Tourism Summit attracts hundreds of tourism stakeholders in an effort to promote collaboration to strengthen the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The summit is also a platform to showcase the industry's innovation over the previous year, with more than a dozen awards issued for excellence in business and innovation.

"I would especially like to congratulate Newfoundland and Labrador for its 'Find Yourself Here' ad campaign, which has won numerous industry awards and sparked a 7-percent increase in visitors last year," continued Minister of State Moore. "The campaign represents the kind of drive and innovation that will help make Canada the world's most sought-after tourist destination in the years to come."

Minister of State Moore highlighted the Harper Government's action to strengthen Canada's position within a highly competitive global marketplace, including securing Approved Destination Status with China in 2010 and keeping taxes low for job creators, such as the tourism industry.

Tourism makes a significant contribution to Canada's economy, representing 2 percent of gross domestic product and generating approximately 617,000 jobs, and involves all regions, both urban and rural, including Canada's North. In 2010, Canada earned the number one spot on the Country Brand Index.

Contact Information: Office of the Honourable Rob Moore
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
Catherine Godbout
613-668-5406 (cell)
Industry Canada
Media Relations