Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my federal and provincial New Democratic Party colleagues, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to the importance of tourism to Canada's economy, standard of living as a nation, and quality of life for all Canadians.
Tourism is worth $52 billion a year. It is Canada's fourth largest export industry and its eleventh largest industry overall, accounting for about 3% of the country's gross domestic product.
Canada's 159,000 tourism related businesses operate in communities from St. John's to Victoria and from Iqaluit to Yarmouth. They keep 1.8 million Canadians working, providing vital income for individuals and families, especially in rural Canada. They also generate an estimated $17 billion in tax revenues, which support government programs at all levels.
On behalf of all of us as we prepare to celebrate World Tourism Day, I urge all my colleagues on both sides of the House to support Canada's vital tourism industry and for all Canadians to travel our country and see what a truly wonderful country we are blessed with.