WHITEHORSE, YUKON--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2013) - Looking to build on momentum for Canada's globally competitive tourism industry, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for tourism met this week to discuss improving visitor access, marketing and tourism attraction development. This meeting of the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers was co-chaired by the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), and the Honourable Mike Nixon, Yukon's Minister of Tourism and Culture.

"Canada has one of the most competitive tourism industries in the world, and we are looking to build on this momentum," said Minister of State Bernier. "Together, we are working to position the tourism industry to seize new opportunities in key tourism markets, creating jobs and growth here in Canada."

"It has been a pleasure hosting my tourism colleagues here in Whitehorse this week," said Minister Nixon. "Yukon has a strong tourism sector and can expect even greater growth after the success of our recent European tourism mission. We know that a successful and strong Yukon tourism sector helps to make Canada an even more attractive international tourism destination."

The ministers discussed the impact that international growth markets are having on Canada's tourism sector and shared perspectives on strategies for capitalizing on opportunities in global tourism.

In addition, the ministers were given the most up-to-date information on initiatives being undertaken to improve international traveller access to Canada, which involve such areas as visas, the air sector and the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border initiative.

In the face of global competition and greater consumer choice, the ministers recognized the importance of developing and promoting tourist attractions and shared perspectives on other ways to enhance Canada's tourism competitiveness.

The ministers also recognized the importance of Aboriginal tourism and explored options for sharing information on best practices to further develop this segment of the tourism sector.

Canada's tourism ministers will continue their collaboration to help increase international tourism to Canada. The ministers plan to meet again in Prince Edward Island next year.

Tourism is a catalyst for entrepreneurship and provides employment in urban and rural areas as well as in the North. Canada's tourism sector accounts for over 609,500 jobs in communities in every region of the country and for approximately 2 percent of Canada's gross domestic product.

Contact Information:

Scott French
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon

Media Relations
Industry Canada