Canada sees 1 mln travelers in a week; highest since pandemic

For the first time since the epidemic, Canada drew more than one million tourists in a week, according to government data released on Friday, as COVID-19 border restrictions were eased, encouraging visitors to return.

As Canada enters its peak summer vacation season, tour operators are hoping that the uptick seen in the first week of April will continue. The tourism industry was one of the hardest damaged by the pandemic.

“After being confined at home for two years, many are willing to spend more and want to stay at high-end properties in case COVID is still present,” said Alla Weintraub, a luxury travel advisor with F1S. “People feel certain hotels will look after them better,” she continued.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, Canada enacted some of the harshest border controls in the world, but after Ottawa lifted the requirement for COVID tests for vaccinated visitors in April, tour firms began to witness an increase in bookings.

The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) reported that over 1 million people entered the nation during the week of April 11. Nonetheless, visitor numbers are down 44% from the period of April 15-17, 2019.

“People gained greater confidence as our phones became more and busier. We’re still being cautious, but the progress has been positive “Discover Canada Tours’ Marketing and Communications Manager, Elyse Mailhot, agreed.

When Air Canada (AC.TO) reports quarterly earnings next week, rising travel demand is expected to be a major topic.

Official data released in March revealed that tourism spending in Canada increased by 4.4 percent to C$50.8 billion ($40 billion) in 2021, compared to 2020, when it declined by 49 percent from 2019. Tourism will account for 4.1 percent of Canada’s GDP in 2021.

While the number of tours is increasing, finding talent to lead them has grown difficult. “I believe people have moved on to other fields,” Mailhot stated. “Even students appear to be more picky.”

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