One of Canada’s pillars of the economy is the hospitality and tourism industry. The country has a lot to offer in terms of the quality of life that tourists get to experience upon arrival, with its incomparable natural resources that offer picturesque views, a dynamic multicultural atmosphere that will make you feel at home, a world-class level of hospitality, and a perfectly balanced mix of traditional and progressive culture that radiates all across the country. International tourists must visit Canada as one of the most special destinations in their lifetime.
Pre-pandemic industry numbers
The industry generated an estimated $104.9 billion in tourism expenditures and offered a contribution of an estimated $43.5 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019, well before the pandemic hit, according to Destination Canada. Per Statista, around 32.44 million international trips to the country were made in the same year.
How COVID-19 affected hospitality and tourism in Canada
However, the restrictions implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically affected the sector not just in Canada, but throughout the world. Statistics Canada indicated that careers in tourism fell by 28.7 percent annually in 2020. The traditional path of business operations has been disrupted, affecting the majority of the SME sector. As people weren’t allowed to go out, hotels, restaurants, and other establishments in the industry have either been on limited capacity or ceased operations. Canada, along with the rest of the world, struggled to keep up with the sudden adjustments.
How Canada plans to recuperate the industry today and into the future
Now that restrictions are starting to ease up, and with the government constantly adjusting its response to the fluctuating pandemic situation, there is a significant increase in confidence amongst Canadians. Public health measures such as mask mandates, outdoor capacities in various public establishments, and other social gatherings are starting to loosen up in provinces like Ontario. With these first steps indicating positive signals for economic recovery, the Canadian government is starting to provide support to the hospitality and tourism sector.
One of these steps includes the allocation of up to $67 million to support the industry through the sectoral incentives program (SIP), an initiative supporting 24 projects that aim to strengthen the hospitality and tourism workforce across all kinds of people. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion said: “The government is working closely with the tourism and hospitality sector to help address challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding announced today helps businesses get back on their feet and attract and retain the skilled workers the tourism industry needs. Not only are we supporting Canadians who traditionally face barriers to the labour market and providing workers the support they need to find good jobs, we are also helping the tourism sector bounce back.”
Another notable prediction for the industry’s rise from the pandemic is the chance of better compensation for workers. Since it suffered a big blow in employment rate, experts suggest that an effective way to attract workers back to the industry is to provide them with better job packages, including higher pay, safer working conditions, and improved benefits.
While the past two years have caused uncertainty for Canada’s hospitality and tourism industry, this growing upwards trend clearly indicates that it’s on its way back to becoming a flourishing job market once again. Hence, the best time to invest in this sector is now! If you’re looking for an institution that could help you gain industry-level knowledge and experience in hospitality and tourism, check out the programs offered at the Toronto School of Management (TSoM). These programs are designed to enhance your skills as a professional in a healthy, safe, and progressive learning environment.