“Tourism, a strategic industry for Canada”: Transat President
Oct. 14, 2011, Montreal - In an address today to the Quebec MBA Association in Montreal, Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat A.T. Inc. stressed the strategic nature of the industry throughout the world, and once again insisted on the importance of mapping out a long-term strategy that emphasizes improvements to product at a time of fierce competition.
"Before too long, the number of international tourists annually will exceed one billion, which represents considerable economic weight," Mr. Eustache said. "For all practical purposes, every country in the world is competing for traveller dollars. In Canada's case, tourism translates into revenues of $73.4 billion, GDP of $29.4 billion, or 1.9% of overall GDP, and close to 600,000 jobs. We are talking about a strategic industry." He added: "The consumer is king, and this poses a real challenge for companies, which must fight tooth and nail to develop their product lines, enhance quality of service, reduce their costs and earn a profit."
Mr. Eustache also touched on the issue of sustainable development: "All over the world, the travel and tourism industry, or part of that industry at least, has woken up to the fact that the way it operates has to evolve," he explained. "And that means, among other things, working in concert with partners and destinations to ensure that social, economic and environmental issues and impacts, which are all interrelated, are considered as a whole, for the good, and in the interests of, all stakeholders."