On the Road Again: Ontario’s Travel Markets Outlook to 2025

The Conference Board of Canada, 16 pages, September 21, 2021
Issue Briefing
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This report contains a review of and outlook for tourism activity in Ontario, assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the public health restrictions on tourism. It examines domestic, U.S., and overseas activity as well as the situation in Ottawa, Toronto, and the Niagara region.

Document Highlights

  • We expect tourism activity to pick up in Ontario during the second half of this year. In July, the province entered Step 3 of its Roadmap to Reopen plan for lifting restrictions. Restaurants and many attractions are open for business
    with some capacity limits in place.
  • Total visits to the province are forecast to increase by
    27.9 per cent in 2021 and will return to their pre-pandemic level by 2024.
  • Tourism expenditures are expected to exceed their pre-pandemic level in 2024. In the meantime, comparatively strong domestic activity will cover some of the gap in expenditures caused by fewer international visitors.
  • Overnight business travel to Ontario will reach only approximately 88 per cent of its pre-pandemic level by 2025. However, major business centres like Toronto will see a slightly more robust recovery.
  • Tourism to urban centres is likely to be a little less popular, given many travellers’ risk aversion to crowds in the wake of the pandemic. However, several cities in Ontario are offering incentive programs to attract domestic visitors this year. The province is expected to launch its own staycation incentive program in 2022.

Table of Contents

Key findings
Ontario snapshot
Domestic activity
United States and overseas
City highlights
Overall performance

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