VANCOUVER — Destination Canada’s (DC) latest State-of-the-Industry report provides a stark look at the impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s visitor economy.
DC’s July forecast predicts a 61-per-cent drop in revenues in 2020. As the report explains, tourism revenues are uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with the core summer season being significantly impacted due to travel restrictions, quarantines and social distancing.
This has created clear impacts on tourism businesses. Based on employment from June 2020, Canada has already lost 47 per cent of jobs from the visitor economy, representing 354,000 jobs across Canada.
The accommodation and foodservices sector of the visitor economy has recorded significant losses, with the number of active businesses within the sector decreasing 24.3 per cent between January 2020 and June 2020 when adjusted to account for normal and seasonal closings. Similarly, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector has recorded a loss of 24.2 per cent over the period.
Ontario has seen the steepest losses in these two sectors, with a 29-per-cent decrease in active businesses. Quebec and Newfoundland followed closely behind, with 27-per-cent declines.
The report also includes insight on domestic and international recovery progress, noting we’ve been stalled at the domestic/inter-provincial stage of recovery due to continuing border and travel restrictions, as well as continued uncertainty.