12/18/2012 10:01 EST | Updated 12/18/2012 10:04 EST

Canada Shared By Canadians: Tourism Ad Gains International Love, Despite Future Budget Cuts For CTC (VIDEO)

An online ad showcasing the best of Canada's offerings to tourists is garnering love overseas — but it can't save the government board behind the video from losing millions in funding.

The video, titled 'Canada Shared by Canadians — Keep Exploring' has about 1.6 million YouTube views since debuting just under a month ago, says the Canadian Tourism Commission. Running just over two minutes long and highlighting Canadian culture, food and the country's stunning landscape, there's also a 30-second version of the film that's currently being shown in movie theatres in the United Kingdom.

Despite the video's success, Canada's federal government is planning to cut the CTC's budget this year from the $72 million it received in 2012 to $58 million for 2013, reports the National Post. The cuts are expected to affect Canada's tourism sector and its 608,000 employees across the country, since the commission is planning on almost entirely halting promotion for U.S. travellers to come to Canada, Greg Klassen, CTC's senior vice-president of Marketing Strategy, told the publication.

The cuts paint a different picture than what Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), announced back in November during an industry meeting. The minister highlighted that Canadian tourism has seen back-to-back growth over last three years, generating $35.2 billion in the first half of 2012.

To adjust, the CTC will focus its efforts on Europe and Asian instead — a region where the board's video may make its next international appearance.

"We will dribble it out in China, test it to see how well it performs, and if it performs well we'll unleash it a bit more and spend a little bit more money pushing it out," said Klassen.

Only time will tell what works. Canada's popularity with international tourists has dropped in the last few years, with more than 23 million fewer tourists visiting Canada since 2000 to 2010, according to stats from the CTC.

With Files From The Canadian Press

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