Half of tourism businesses in Canada could permanently close by the end of the month
The pandemic has brought nearly all non-essential travel to a halt worldwide, and a new study says that, if the trend continues, more than half of tourism businesses across the country are expected to tank.
Hotels, restaurants, travel arrangement services, air transportation, and other crucial sectors in tourism depend heavily on the summer season, but with the ongoing lockdown, 57 per cent of businesses are expected to fail by May 31 unless things start to open up for July and August.
Destination Canada recently released a report on the devastating impacts the pandemic has had on the country's tourism sector.
According to the study, the country could see a loss of 1.7 million permanent jobs in the industry in the advent of summer closures.
"The tourism sector is unlikely to bounce back quickly," says Ontario Attractions, which is pushing for an economic recovery plan from Federal government.
They've also started a campaign called Save Our Attractions.
"Without immediate, substantial revenue and recovery measures, there will be nothing for Ontarians, Canadians, and International Travellers to do once they lift restrictions on travel."
In Toronto, there's expected to be a loss of about 120,000 business visitors between April and June thanks to the cancellation of major events like Pride Toronto, which has moved online, or Collision, the star-studded tech conference meant to take place at the end of June.
In Calgary, the Stampede was cancelled for the first time in its history.
In Vancouver, the aquarium has said it's at risk of closing permanently leading to some inventive initiatives to save it.
Toronto's most popular attractions like Casa Loma and the Toronto Zoo, the latter which has had to fundraise to offset lost revenues, are closed until Ontario's state of emergency is lifted.
Attractions Ontario, which represents more than 550 tourism businesses in the province, is asking for a forgivable loan from the Canadian government, and a grant made up of the HST earned by specific businesses in the last two quarters of 2019.
"Tourism is a major employer in Canada across the province are closed as we struggle with COVID-19," says Attractions Ontario. "Many of them will never reopen again, undermining Canada's economic recovery."
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