Tourism is a big business in Canada! Ontario alone accounts for 40 per cent of tourism jobs in Canada. In Ontario, the tourism sector accounts for 5.3 per cent or 389,000 of total jobs.
What drew you to be involved in a business that opens their doors to visitors? You may have made a conscious career decision to enter the tourism or hospitality sector, or found yourself working at it in your first job, or taken advantage of a good opportunity that piqued your interest. Whatever the steps were that led you to where you are now, you share a common thread with your peers and other visitor-serviced businesses – a passion for enhancing people’s lives by providing a great experience, whether it’s a product, a service or place. Versatility is your middle name – no one day in the week is always the same and you tackle challenges to find solutions in a dynamic, and ever-changing tourism business environment. You seek to surround yourself with other great people that share the same passion for the job that you do and the products that you sell.
You’re also in a growth industry. Tourism is a $2-trillion industry globally, and a $32-billion industry in Ontario and it’s larger than agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined.
While the industry continues to see growth, there’s a challenge to find skilled people to fill travel and tourism jobs. According to Tourism HR Canada, the number of unfilled tourism jobs is expected to reach 240,000 by 2035. If nothing is done to curb this potential labour gap, the potential revenue shortfall will reach $27.4 billion by the same year. However, there are hundreds of thousands of people looking for work: a high unemployment rate exists among the Indigenous community, new Canadians, and Ontario youth. An opportunity exists for those in the tourism and hospitality community to link these people with tourism jobs and, by extension, careers.
To address Ontario’s growing challenge of filling tourism job vacancies at every level, the Tourism Association of Ontario (TIAO) is launching a Careers in Tourism campaign. Campaign tactics will include an Ontario tourism job board, real-life career profiles, presentations to secondary and post-secondary students, as well as career centres supported through social media channels. For more information on the campaign, contact Janet O’Connell at firstname.lastname@example.org
A highly skilled workforce delivering exceptional tourism products and customer service is essential for our businesses to stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow. You can help by sharing your passion about your work and inspire students and other job seekers to learn more about pursuing a career. Let’s work together to build an awareness of the opportunities in Ontario’s tourism industry.