The show must go on – even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rendez-vous Canada kicked off yesterday (May 17) using a virtual format, the first time in the show’s 45-year history that delegates haven’t been at the national tourism promotion show in person.
Coronavirus led to the cancellation of last year’s show.
“Our sector continues to respond and show its incredible resilience,” Destination Canada president Marsha Walden told delegates during the show’s opening.
The past 14 months have been tough for the tourism trade as coronavirus has sent international travel into a tailspin, with Walden conceding during her speech that those in tourism “do not fully know what’s lying ahead” for the travel industry as it contends with a pandemic that has lingered on for over a year.
But Walden cited “reasons for optimism” that include the vaccination process underway in this country and elsewhere.
Those in the tourism trade are eagerly awaiting the reopening of the country’s borders to foreign tourists, with Walden predicting that won’t happen until fall at the earliest.
Staggered re-openings that will evaluate progress source tourist markets have made towards vaccinating their citizens are expected.
Walden labeled Canada “a county to believe in…a young, vibrant nation that’s beautiful on the outside as well as the inside.”
Those in the tourism industry have been encouraging Canadians to vacation within this country when they’re ready to hit the road, spurring the recovery of our tourism trade.
Tourism Association of Canada president Beth Potter said that her association has met over 100 MPs since February, relaying their concerns about the state of the tourism industry to them.
“We still have much work to do,” Potter added.
Rendezvous is taking place on the eve of Tourism Week, which encourages Canadians to recognize the importance of tourism to this country’s economy and which this year runs from May 23-30.