Canada Tourism could reach pre-pandemic levels next year
The forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), shows the sector’s contribution to Canada’s GDP could reach CAD157 billion next year, just 0.8% below 2019 levels.
Looking to this year, the report shows the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 25.4% to CAD138 billion, amounting to 5.3% of the total economic GDP.
However, employment levels in the sector are set to grow at a slower rate, only 3% this year, reaching just over 1.5 million jobs.
Over the next decade, Travel & Tourism’s GDP is expected to grow at an average of 4.4% annually, more than twice the 1.9% growth rate of the country’s overall economy, to reach nearly CAD213 billion – 6.8% of the total economy.
The forecast also reveals the sector is expected to create more than half a million jobs over the next decade, averaging more than 50,000 new jobs every year.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “After the agony suffered by Canada’s Travel & Tourism, businesses across the country can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the sector begins to recover from the ravages of the pandemic.
“Following two years of severe and highly disruptive travel restrictions, which decimated the sector, the outlook for the future is much brighter for both jobs and the economy.”
Before the pandemic, Canada’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 6.3% (CAD158.1 billion) in 2019, falling to just 3.7% (CAD88.8 billion) in 2020, which represented a shocking 43.8% loss.
The sector also supported almost 1.7 million jobs in 2019, falling to just below 1.4 million in 2020, when the pandemic devastated the sector.
Following the significant decline in 2020, the global tourism body’s latest EIR report reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for Canada’s Travel & Tourism sector.
Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 24.4% year on year, to reach CAD 110.4 billion.
The sector also saw a recovery of more than 116,000 Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a positive rise of 8.4% to nearly 1.5 million.
The sector’s contribution to the economy and employment could have been higher if it weren’t for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to the recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating severe travel restrictions.