The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) says there has been a silver lining for this country’s tourist trade during a long-lasting coronavirus pandemic cloud.
TIAC president Beth Potter told a Feb. 10 webinar that the pandemic has prompted many in this country who normally holiday abroad to consider Canada vacations, with pandemic-related restrictions often making international travel tricky at best.
“One of the bright spots” is that more of us are discovering “Canada has amazing things to offer,” she said.
Canada consistently runs up a travel deficit but heightened awareness among Canadians about available vacation experiences in their own country might enable us to “chip away at that deficit,” Potter continued.
Destination Canada’s Marsha Walden agreed that the pandemic is leading more Canadians to consider domestic vacations. “I think we’ve made some great inroads in the last two years.”
Walden suggested that those with a stake in Canadian tourism should be able to convince more Canadians to opt for domestic vacations in spring and fall, while conceding that it will be tougher to sway those who need a “dose of sunshine in the winter” that they should stay within this country’s borders.
Walden also added that it remains important to attract foreign tourists here, warning against putting “all our eggs in the domestic basket.”
Meanwhile, webinar viewers were told that organizers of Rendez-vous Canada — the premier event for promoting Canada as a tourist destination — is this year inviting people to either attend in person or virtually.
The pandemic prompted organizers to cancel the 2020 show, while last year’s was done as a virtual-only event.
This year’s show will be held in Toronto in May and some 550 sellers are expected.
Destination Canada’s Maureen Riley said that the organization wants to “maximize” the number of people attending in person, thereby enabling them to “see Canada is open” to travellers.
“We’re very excited to cohost this year’s event in Toronto,” Potter said of TIAC’s role.
Riley also said there’s now “a need to travel” among Americans and Europeans, adding that travellers are likely to be more socially and environmentally conscious nowadays.