Supernatural Times: British Columbia’s Travel Markets Outlook to 2024

The Conference Board of Canada, 13 pages, February 17, 2021
Issue briefing
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This report contains a review of and outlook for tourism activity in British Columbia, assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the public health restrictions on tourism. It examines domestic, U.S., and overseas activity.

Document Highlights

  • With vaccines starting to roll out, British Columbia’s tourism sector is forecast to recover gradually over the next four years. Total overnight visits to the province will increase by 68.7 per cent in 2021 but will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023.
  • Many tourism operators in the province are dependent on overseas visitors from countries in Asia. Some of these source market economies—China’s, in particular—have bounced back rapidly. This bodes well for the province’s tourism sector once travel restrictions are rolled back.
  • Government assistance for the ailing provincial tourism industry was made explicit in the StrongerBC economic recovery program in late 2020. Given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on tourism, calls for additional government support by the industry were steady throughout 2020.
  • Many factors played a role in the decline of travel prices in 2020. Accommodation providers slashed room rates, though gas prices remained low for much of the year. Prices will pick up again in 2021 as demand starts to recover.
  • We forecast that overnight travel expenditures in British Columbia will fall by 66.3 per cent in 2020 and grow by 87.9 per cent in 2021.

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