Five Minutes With: Vince Accardi
President | Motor Coach Canada, Ontario Motor Coach Association
Vince Accardi has always believed in the power of travel. He has spent the span of his career working with like-minded professionals who are passionate about building a competitive and vibrant tourism sector in Canada.
"I believe that tourism connects people, communities and cultures," Accardi said. "The tourism sector provides youth their first jobs and the essential work and employability skills needed to succeed in the workforce."
Prior to joining Motor Coach Canada in mid-April 2021, Accardi was Vice President of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
Leading up to the announcement of the reopening of the U.S./Canada border, Accardi says Motor Coach Canada and other business associations across Canada were vocal in asking the federal government for a defined plan on when and how the border was to be reopened.
"We cannot flip a switch on the border and expect businesses to be ready—it's key to business planning," Accardi said.
In 2019, Canada's tourism sector recorded our best year ever. International visitation beat our expectation and our economic contribution was 2% of our GDP. The sector supported 1 in every 11 jobs. COVID-19 was the single biggest shock to our sector and the impacts will take years to recover from. It has also created an environment for the rapid adoption of touchless technology in all industries and has placed a laser focus on health and safety processes and protocols.
The tourism sector will rebuild, travel will return and we will prosper. The greatest challenge for our sector will be rebuilding our sector back better. We have an opportunity to build back with sustainability and workforce diversity and inclusion front and center. Plus, we need to capture the hearts and travel budgets of Canadians.
Like many other country's populations, many Canadians have traditionally taken their travel budgets outside of Canada. One of the biggest opportunities we have is to connect with Canadians and have them explore Canada.
In addition, once the Canada/U.S. border is open and travel restrictions are lifted, Canada is looking forward to welcoming back our American visitors. Canada offers so many unique experiences in all seasons of the year, it would be smart to book your trip to Canada early to secure your spot. Travel by motor coach is a convenient, safe and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. It's a wonderful way to see and explore Canadian destinations.
ADVICE TO NEWCOMERS
Newcomers to the tourism workforce should take note of all the industry leaders that started their careers in frontline positions. There isn't always a clearly defined path, but the most amazing part about working in tourism is that you have the opportunity to create your own career journey. This is a diverse industry which offers long-term career opportunities with unlimited career growth.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor of Groups Today.
This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct 2021 issue of Groups Today.