Canada is faced with some of the same challenges as the US in attracting more international visitors: tight visa restrictions and security concerns.

As the Gazette in Montreal reported today, “Canada is missing out on a potential economic tourism windfall, says the head of the country’s tourism agency.

Surveys show that many foreign tourists would love to come here, said Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) head David Goldstein in an interview at The Gazette on Tuesday.

But it’s often too complicated to get a visa – and the airline tickets are often too expensive, he said.

“We have to find a balance between security and efficient travel,” he said, adding that Canadian airport landing fees and taxes are among the highest in the world and are passed on to consumers in airline ticket prices.

As a result, many foreign airlines avoid flying to Canada, he said. Instead, they simply court Canadian customers from cheaper U.S. airports near the border. Goldstein said the difficulty in obtaining a visa is one of the reasons why tourists from Brazil often prefer to go to European Union countries – where they are not required to apply for a visa.” Read more.

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