Indian-origin tourism minister of Canada encourages Indians to visit
Bardish Chagger, minister of Small Business and Tourism, Canada is among the four Indian-origin cabinet ministers in Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s new government. In an exclusive interaction with Express TravelWorld during Canada’s annual mega travel trade event Rendez-vous Canada in Montreal, the tourism minister of Canada talks about her Indian roots and invites more Indians to visit her country. “I welcome everyone from India to come and visit Canada. We will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017 and it would be a great time to come,” said Chagger. Mentioning that her parents immigrated from Punjab, India in the early 1970s, she said, “India is very close to my heart. I speak in Punjabi and love my Indian food.”
During her keynote address at Rendez-vous Canada, Chagger had launched the Millennial Travel Program. “We have just launched the Millennial Travel Program and it is really important that millennials travel, not only to see the world, but to come to Canada. You can discover the entire world in our country. We have 10 provinces, three territories and numerous experiences,” she stated. Pointing out that a lot of effort is going into promoting aboriginal tourism, Chagger added, “Hopefully at some point, we will be advancing culinary tourism. We really want millennials and all generations to come visit our country.”
Millennial travellers, she reminded, are born with a smart phones in their hands and are always connected with the digital world through apps and snaps. Canada is focusing on encouraging millenials to be the lifetime ambassadors of the country. The Budget 2016 is providing an additional CAD 50 million over two years to Destination Canada for its marketing initiatives in key international markets.
The year 2015 was a milestone with tourism revenues reaching CAD 90 billion and the industry accounting for more than 637,000 direct jobs.