One of the largest industries in Canada is the tourism industry. It is made up of many thousands of small and large businesses and is in turn, one of Canada’s major employers and as well a major contributor to our national wealth. The businesses that compose the tourism industry are hotels, restaurants, travel businesses, recreation and entertainment, and arts and cultural businesses. Throughout Canada’s environment and economy, there are many factors that contribute to the success of the tourism industry. They are Canada’s abundant supply of natural resources, diverse cultural experiences and year round leisure activities. I feel that it is because of these factors that tourism can be identified as an exceedingly significant factor in the perseverence of the tertiary sector.
The tertiary sector of the labour force is the vast range of services needed to support the primary and secondary sectors. It makes up approximately 70% of the labour force and contributes approximately 60% of Canada’s Gross National Product. Within the tertiary sector are many of the businesses that make up the tourism industry such as transportation, as well as consumer services such as health care, mechanizing, and entertainment.
There are three different types of tourism within Canada. They are Adventure/outdoor and eco-tourism, cultural tourism, and heritage tourism. All of these types of tourism can be found throughout Canada and they all are a part of the tertiary sector. Adventure/outdoor and eco-tourism is the fastest growing and largest type of tourism in Canada. Our natural outdoor environment presents resources for hard and soft adventure tourism for generally enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Such activities as hiking, backpacking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, nature study, wildlife viewing, x-country and downhill skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and many more can be enjoyed throughout Canada’s provinces and territories. Cultural tourism is also a growing sector in the Canadian tourism industry. Canada has unique opportunities which the tourism communities are only beginning to explore. Aboriginal communities have significant opportunities in tourism, particularly in preserving and celebrating their culture and their values. Canada’s population is comprised of many diverse cultures from all around the world. Celebrating and demonstrating the culture of people is a major tourism opportunity for such things as museums, galleries, performing arts, festivals and events. And lastly, heritage tourism within Canada is demonstrated through our numerous forestry and wildlife preserves, national, and provincial parks. We work hard to conserve and protect these eco-systems so that we will have the opportunity to continue to observe and learn from them for as long as possible.
The Town of Midland quite energetically recognizes the value of the tourism industry. Midland is well served by the many service groups and organizations who contribute to the growth of the tourism industry in Midland. Midland boasts a rich history. The heritage of this community is evident through sites such as Discovery Harbour, Huronia Museum, the recreated Indian Village and the Martyrs’ Shrine Church. Mingled with these sites are the attractions of this area’s rich cultural history and native ancestry. The Georgian Bay Islands National park and Wye Marsh Wildlife Center are attractions of interest to naturalists seeking a wildlife setting. The National historic museums depict a unique history. The opportunity to cruise on fresh water lakes, by ship or schooner. The region has one of Canada’s Great National parks and is renowned as a nature centre. Winters offer snowmobile trails, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. The local Chamber of Commerce encourage discovery of the community’s heritage through the native village and Ontario’s first European community. Golf, live theatre, outdoor art gallery, leading environmental centres, the list does go on.
The significance of all of the above is that many types of accommodation, motorcoach transportation services, boat charter for special receptions and outings, dinner cruises and group excersions, all types of dining from “take out” to “fine” is available, including shopping and other services. All of the efforts to encourage the tertiary sector of the Midland tourist industry sustain and support many of the secondary and primary industries of this community. Not only does Midland have outdoor and eco-tourism, but it also has cultural tourism at such establishments as The Martyr’s Shrine, Ste. Marie Among the Hurons, the Huron Indian Village, and heritage tourism at Wye Marsh and Little Lake Park.
Because of the vast natural resources, and the cultural heritage that our community is surrounded by, we are fortunate enough to be a big part of the tourism industry in Northern Ontario. Living on Georgian Bay gives us the opportunity to witness, first hand, the number of tourists that diffuse through our area. Even though we may not always notice it, Midland and surrounding area fundamentally revolve around and maybe even depend on the tourism that runs throughout our area. From my experience as an employee in the tourism industry at Midland Golf & Country Club (”MGCC”), I’ve noticed that Midland is not only a popular tourist area, but also a popular retirement area. Demographic studies reveal that the largest sector of the Midland population are those individuals over the age of 65. A majority of the members at the MGCC are people who retire here for the summer months at their cottage on Georgian Bay, and everyone I have asked absolutely loves it here. Even some celebrities such as Kim Mitchell, Goldie Hawn, and Kurt Russell have a cottage nearby the Georgian Bay/Muskoka region because of it’s remote and relaxing and enjoyable qualities. Living in this area, I think most of us take advantage of what impressive and important establishments we have to offer the tourism industry. These are places that I believe everyone should have the opportunity to see and learn from. Some schools outside our area, even past Toronto have had the opportunity to transport their students to Midland to observe and learn from the establishments. Unfortunately, I know of many people who have never been to see this aspect of our own culture and heritage which I feel is so important to know and understand and is even fun to see.
In conclusion, Canada’s tourism industry (as also evident in Midland’s tourism industry) is becoming more and more popular because of it’s vast natural resources, diverse communities and cultures, and year round cultural and leisure activities. The many factors contributing to the success of the tourism industry within Canada (and more specifically in Midland) and it is because of these factors that tourism can be identified as an exceedingly significant factor in the perseverence of the tertiary sector.