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Updated: February 24, 2021
Each province’s travel market is unique—as are their paths to recovery. Some regions, such as Saskatchewan, will recover faster than others in the wake of COVID-19, depending on whether their tourism activities can easily be enjoyed while physically distancing.
Employment in accommodation and food services is majorly impacted. And despite anticipated vaccine distribution, households’ willingness to travel will likely remain subdued. Most provinces’ visitor numbers will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024 .
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After the accommodation and food services sector’s performance was critically hampered in 2020, tourism in Alberta is forecast to recover only gradually over the next four years. Total overnight visits to the province will increase by 62.4 per cent in 2021 but will not reach their pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
Many tourism operators in British Columbia 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.
A rising number of new cases of COVID-19 in December 2020 continue to plague the Ontario tourism market along with the broader provincial economy. Stricter lockdowns will weigh heavily on both interprovincial and international tourism.
Total visits to Quebec in 2020 are forecast to have declined by almost half, Quebec being one of the provinces hit hardest by COVID-19. This has, and will continue to have, huge impacts on the over 400,000 people employed in tourism industries in the province.
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