Destination Canada Fall Outlook Paints Positive Picture

Destination Canada has released its Fall Tourism Outlook which forecasts that despite ongoing challenges, the recovery trajectory for Canada’s tourism sector is strengthening, bolstered by the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and resilience in travel demand.

The Outlook indicates that leisure travel is now expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2024, which is a remarkable feat and one year earlier than previously forecasted in Spring 2022.

Destination Canada’s Outlook also indicates that domestic tourism will continue to lead the sector’s recovery with strong spending providing a foundation for brisk recovery to 2019 levels. Domestic travel market spending is expected to reach 92% of 2019 levels by the end of 2022 and fully recover in 2023.

The recovery of the US market, which is Canada’s biggest opportunity, is poised to accelerate in 2023, with spending reaching 91% of 2019 levels as lifted border restrictions and a strong US dollar encourage recovery. In 2024, spending by US travellers in Canada is expected to reach 112% of 2019 levels.

Visits from the US are projected to reach 82% of 2019 levels in 2023 and fully recover in 2024.

International overnight arrivals reached 61% of 2019 levels over the summer months of 2022. Tourist expenditures and international arrivals are set to return to a long-term growth trend by 2026.

Marsha Walden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination Canada, noted that: “This accelerated forecast is the recovery signal we have all been working to achieve. Restarting our industry has been hard on everyone and we still have a long way to go. Over the summer months of 2022, overnight international arrivals reached only 61% of 2019 levels. But the future looks very promising, if we are able to fully capitalize on it.”

Walden continued: “Globally, pent-up demand for travel remains very strong, but we know travellers have many, many choices for places to go. We must ensure Canada becomes a more competitive destination, while also rethinking our approach to tourism to maximize the socio-cultural, economic and environmental benefits the industry can bring to all of Canada.”

This latest forecast also includes an extended model looking at the decade ahead as far as 2030. If Canada’s tourism sector continues on the current forecasted trajectory, it has the potential to bring in more than $142 billion dollars in 2030 — a 35% growth in just over a decade. This bullish 2030 forecast requires the competitive fundamentals to be in place.

Commenting on the results, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, said that: “Every single person that works in the tourism industry is helping accelerate the sector’s recovery in a true Team Canada effort. The opportunity ahead for this sector, the businesses and people that work in it is immeasurable. Our Federal Tourism Growth Strategy will help set the course for the future of tourism in Canada, creating a clear path forward to drive growth, investment and stability in this valuable sector.”

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