Destination Canada Launches New Tourism Corridor Strategy to Accelerate Intentional Inter Provincial/Territorial Destination Development.
Three pilot corridors from across Canada have been selected.
Vancouver, BC – June 8, 2023: Destination Canada has launched a new pilot project called the Tourism Corridor Strategy Program, which aims to accelerate the intentional development of tourism corridors or clusters of tourism assets across Canada. In partnership with a variety of stakeholders across provincial and territorial boundaries, this collaborative project will benefit not only the communities and destinations involved but will also bolster Canada’s competitiveness by giving visitors more reasons to travel to new regions across Canada.
A corridor is a geographic region or a route that connects different destinations with significant tourist attractions, such as:
- historical sites,
- natural landscapes,
- or cultural events.
Corridors have the potential to offer a range of attractions and experiences that are connected by a scenic and convenient route, making them popular amongst visitors who want to explore multiple destinations in a single journey, ultimately benefitting local communities.
“As a country, we aim to offer legendary experiences for our guests, end-to-end but for our tourism sector to grow and truly thrive, we must equally consider the aspirations of communities as hosts, said Marsha Walden,” President and CEO, Destination Canada. “Our new pilot program will help to fill the existing gap in cross-boundary, intentional, destination development and ultimately help build a more resilient tourism industry that contributes to the wealth and wellbeing of Canadians, while also making Canada a more competitive destination, aligning our offering with the expectations of today’s high value guests.”
As part of the Tourism Corridor Strategy Program, Destination Canada, along with a consultant, and selected corridor partners will co-create and deliver a strategy, implementation plan, and financial plan to support a regenerative approach to the development of these tourism corridors in the future.
“Canada makes all senses come alive with an abundance of natural beauty, captivating international business events, riveting cultural performances, and eye-opening Indigenous experiences. Domestic and international visitors alike have a growing interest in more sustainable forms of tourism, and Canada is well-positioned to deliver. The Tourism Corridor Strategy Program will promote the visitors’ economy across Canada, strengthen our tourism ecosystem, and supports vibrant, thriving communities from coast to coast to coast for long-term prosperity,” said The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance.
Applications to be part of the pilot program opened to industry in February 2023. Following a comprehensive review process, Destination Canada has selected three high-potential tourism corridors to support for 2023. The selected projects include:
- Atlantic Canada UNESCO Tourism Corridor: Brings together the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Fundy Biosphere Region, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Parks Canada to convene diverse stakeholders, foster innovation, and identify a common vision for the future where humans and the environment connect and thrive. Atlantic Canada hosts 13 UNESCO-designated sites that form a network of unique landscapes, rich cultural history and diverse offerings.
- Sustainable Journey from Prairies to Pacific: Leverages Highway 3 which is a key interprovincial corridor linking the large urban hubs of Southern Alberta and British Columbia’s lower mainland. This corridor will integrate the existing key strategies and experience themes in Alberta and British Columbia to produce a collection of potential investment opportunities, as well as infrastructure enhancements to grow demand and manage visitation in the long-term.
- Northern Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network: Engages First Nations communities on the concept of an Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network throughout the Yukon, western Northwest Territories and Northern BC. This project will determine interest and readiness to develop small-scale, Indigenous-owned tourism lodges as one way to respond to the strong demand for authentic Indigenous tourism experiences and products. Development would create employment and business opportunities based on Indigenous cultural expression in remote northern communities. Phase one will assess community readiness and the business case for such a network and produce a report for consideration by First Nation Governments, development corporations, businesses and investors.
Note to Editors:
Additional quotes from the partner organizations involved in the selected corridor projects are outlined below.
Atlantic Canada UNESCO Tourism Corridor:
“The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is pleased to be part of the Atlantic Canada UNESCO Tourism Corridor Strategy project. Atlantic Canada is a UNESCO hotspot: the region hosts 13 UNESCO-designated sites -- Global Geoparks, Biosphere Regions and World Heritage Sites -- that contribute to the celebration, preservation and restoration of cultural, natural and intangible heritage. This project, co-developed with the Fundy Biosphere Region, is key to leveraging the potential of the Atlantic UNESCO sites and the sustainable local communities that support them.” David Schimpky, Director of Secretariat, Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
“In Atlantic Canada, UNESCO-designated sites showcase award-winning trail systems, renowned culinary experiences and immersive cultural offerings that are uniquely reflective of the local context. This is an opportunity to bring together diverse stakeholders within the 13 UNESCO-designated regions in Atlantic Canada that will strengthen the network, foster innovation, and identify a common vision for the future where human and environmental communities connect and thrive.” Dr. Jennifer Dingman, Executive Director, Fundy Biosphere Region & Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark.
“Atlantic Canada offers unique landscapes, rich cultural history, and extraordinary biodiversity. UNESCO sites are the avenue for people to explore whatever aspect that calls them to our region from untouched wilderness to immersive cultural experiences. This collaborative work is the invitation to rest of the world to discover and experience the culture, history, and natural landscapes of Atlantic Canada in a way that protects and celebrates the land and people of this part of the world.” David Sollows, Chair, Southwest Nova Biosphere Region.
“The Bay of Fundy is not only home to the world's highest tides, it is also rich with cultural heritage, exciting experiences and beautiful natural landscapes. Through our national and provincial parks, the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Region, the Stonehammer Geopark, and our communities – rural and urban – the Fundy region welcomes the highest number of domestic and international guests in New Brunswick. The Province of New Brunswick and its guests value UNESCO’s principles, combining conservation with sustainable development through the involvement of local communities. New Brunswick is grateful to be part of Destination Canada’s Tourism Corridor Program, in collaboration with innovative and respected leaders. This program explores a unified approach to regenerative tourism development through meaningful stakeholder engagement.” Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace, New Brunswick Tourism, Heritage and Culture.
“Tourism corridors highlight natural connections for travelers who are interested in particular types of attractions within a region. We are excited to work with Destination Canada and our Atlantic Region partners to establish The Atlantic Canada UNESCO Tourism Corridor, which will link our fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites with similar sites in the region. This collaborative effort can only lead to greater success for the tourism sector in Atlantic Canada.” Honourable Steve Crocker, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation.
Sustainable Journey from Prairies to Pacific:
“British Columbia offers residents and visitors immensurate opportunities to enjoy world-class outdoor recreation, to sample local fare from the lands, and to learn more about the people and places that make this province so special. The Prairies to Pacific Corridor initiative will support investments in authentic and transformational experiences - along with the necessary infrastructure and amenities – across the route, thereby increasing interactions between residents, visitors, and place; increasing the dollars spent in our communities; and, motivating overnight stays in all seasons, to ensure regenerative benefits that tourism can bring are enjoyed year-round. This support from Destination Canada and the important partnership with Travel Alberta will allow tourism to continue to support vibrant, thriving communities across our provinces.” Alison McKay, Vice President, Destination Management, Destination BC
“Rural tourism development in high-potential areas is key to doubling the value of Alberta’s visitor economy. This collaboration with Destination Canada and Destination BC will further accelerate our current tourism development planning efforts, enhance interprovincial connectivity, and highlight prime opportunities to invest in sustainable visitor experiences and boutique accommodation across the Southern Rockies region.” Jon Mamela – Chief Commercial Officer & Senior Vice President, Travel Alberta
Northern Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network:
“The Northwest Territories is a destination like no other, a spectacular place that still lives free and wild, big and big-hearted, full of adventure and discovery. We are excited to work with our partners at Tourism Yukon and Destination Canada to enhance tourism in the North, through the Northern Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network corridor. This initiative will enable us to support the development of authentic and community-led Indigenous lodges across the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Northern British Columbia in an effort to ensure Indigenous communities have access to the right combination of support and tools to develop sustainable visitor economies. This support from Destination Canada and the important partnership with Tourism Yukon will allow for tourism in the North to thrive and be a useful resource for all communities involved.” Donna Lee Demarcke, CEO, Northwest Territories Tourism
“The Government of Yukon is proud to have submitted a proposal to establish a Northern Indigenous Tourism Lodge Network throughout the Yukon, northern BC and northwestern NWT. Together with the Government of the Northwest Territories, we look forward to advancing a corridor for small-scale lodges authentic to norther culture and experience. Our thanks to Destination Canada for their vision in championing this national Tourism Corridors program. We look forward to the exciting work ahead." John Streicker, Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture