Pax Global Media
The World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) reveals that Canada’s tourism sector continues to show strong signs of post-pandemic recovery.
According to the latest data, the sector is set to contribute $162.6 billion to the Canadian economy this year, up 17.2% from last year and within touching distance of the previous peak of $173.9 billion in 2019.
WTTC is also forecasting that travel and tourism will create 90,000 jobs this year, recovering almost all of the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic to reach 1.64 million.
Employment levels are also within touching distance of the 2019 high point.
A look back on last year
Last year, the travel and tourism sector's GDP contribution grew by 41.4% to reach more than $138 billion, representing 5% of the Canadian economy, with one in every 20 dollars created in Canada being generated travel and tourism.
Last year the sector also created 169,000 more jobs from the previous year to reach 1.55 million jobs nationally – one in 13 jobs across Canada.
The sector has now recovered 124,000 of the 283,500 jobs lost during the pandemic.
Last year also saw the return of international travelers heading to Canada, with spending from overseas visitors growing 64% to reach almost $23 billion. However, this is still 47% below the 2019 peak of $42.9 billion.
"Travel and tourism is recovering strongly in Canada with high visitor demand,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO. "The sector is a vital driver of economic growth and job creation in Canada with cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal remaining must-see global destinations for international visitors.
"As overseas visitors continue to return to Canada, we will see international visitor spending recovering quickly, to reach 2019 levels in the coming years."
What does the next decade look like?
The global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to more than $238 billion by 2033 to reach 7% of the Canadian economy and will employ almost 2.1 million people across the country, with one in 11 Canadians working in the sector.
In 2022, the North American travel and tourism sector contributed $3.05 trillion to the regional economy, just 7% below the 2019 peak. WTTC forecasts the region's GDP contribution from the sector will fully recover in 2023 to reach $3.7 trillion.
The sector employed 24.7 million people across the region in 2022, an increase of 3.6 million from the previous year but still 1.5 billion behind the 2019 peak.
WTTC forecasts the sector will fully recover the jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of 2023.
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