Mr. Speaker, I note that, in regard to approved destination status, even in her own words she pointed out that that was yet another thing that, after 13 years in power, mostly in majority, the Liberals were just about to get done. If they had only had another 13 years, perhaps they would have actually gotten around to it. However, that is something this government actually delivered on and she pointed out the many benefits that have resulted because of the Prime Minister's actions in that regard.
Our government's number one priority is jobs and economic growth. To that end, we have created over 600,000 net new jobs in Canada since the depths of the recession. Tourism is an important creator of jobs and economic growth in this country, so I am proud to be here today to speak about the actions that this government has taken to support Canada's tourism sector.
In 2010, overseas arrivals to Canada reached 4.5 million, a 6.9% increase over 2009 arrivals. Canada received almost 232,000 travellers from China alone in the first 11 months of 2011, from January to November, an increase of almost 24% or 44,420 travellers over the same period in 2010. We can expect continued growth from this market due to the government's efforts in obtaining approved destination status with China announced in 2009.
With approved destination status, Canada's tourism industry is marketing directly to consumers and group tours, accessing a market of some 57 million people who travelled outside of China in 2010. This government supports the sector in many ways, including marketing Canada to the world through the internationally recognized work of the Canadian Tourism Commission, operating national parks, supporting the hosting of international events, facilitating access and investing in infrastructure.
Last fall, the federal tourism strategy was launched and it is coordinating federal efforts related to tourism, enhancing the federal government's role as an effective partner with industry and other levels of government to improve the competitiveness of Canada's tourism sector. In fact, the Prime Minister, who is currently in China, just launched the Canadian Tourism Commission's new 2012 tourism marketing campaign in China.
With the FTS, Canada is poised to take advantage of tourism opportunities. For example, in Brazil, the Canadian Tourism Commission, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Transport Canada respectively have stimulated demand for travel to Canada, enhanced visa processing capacity and concluded a new air service agreement. As well, the CTC launched its signature experiences collection to recognize small and medium size businesses that exemplify Canada's tourism brand.
Finance Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency are engaging with representatives of the tourism industry to examine the operational design and administration of the foreign convention and tour incentive program and to explore the feasibility of changes that would improve the program's effectiveness. Going forward, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada will create a suite of online tourism development tools for use by community-based organizations. These are just some of the proactive measures that we have taken in support of Canadian tourism.
By implementing the federal tourism strategy, the government will be more coordinated and responsive in the areas of greatest importance to the competitiveness of Canada's tourism industry, a sector that contributed nearly $74 billion in revenues to the Canadian economy in 2010, of which $15 billion were export revenues.