Destination Canada has produced a ‘Visitor Demand Forecast Update’ report which outlines a number of possible scenarios that could illustrate the path forward. The analyses presented are characterized by a ‘middle of the road’ scenario which assumes COVID-19 remains under control, border closures are gradually relaxed, and the global economy rebounds.
As we look towards what the recovery of the sector will look like, much is reliant on the recovery of the economy as a whole, and the testing, vaccination and containment methods used to control the virus.
With borders closed, Canada’s tourism industry has relied on limited domestic travel in 2020 – though this has also been minimal based on public health measures in place. This year has been comprised of many ups and downs as business restrictions and health measures have followed the surges of the virus.
The tourism sector will take longer to recover compared to overall economic recovery in other Canadian sectors, and will follow two phases: reopening and recuperation.
Framing an outlook to 2025, the report estimates that if the border reopens January 2021, tourism revenues will recover to 2019 levels by 2024. With border reopening in April 2021, tourism revenue to recover to 2019 levels by 2025, and with a border reopening in October 2021, revenue recovery to 2019 levels would not be expected until 2026.
The document estimates that the domestic market may recover by 2022 under all scenarios outlined if COVID-19 remains under control. Key factors to help this recovery would be redirecting outbound expenditures toward domestic travel to offset the loss of international travel revenue, and ensuring the safe opening of the borders to effectively control the importation of the virus.
We are met with much uncertainty as we look to the next few years, but this forecast is instrumental in the industry’s planning efforts. TIAC will continue our advocacy work to ensure a sector specific and safe recovery for our industry.
For more information and to read the full report, find the ‘Visitor Demand Forecast Update’ here: https://bit.ly/2Wcd0Gk