The tourism sector employs approximately one Canadian out of 11.
May 31, 2020 15h53
Updated at 17h11
The federal government wants to encourage Canadians to visit their corner of the world”
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – The federal government will invest several million dollars to convince Canadians to take a vacation to the country to help the tourism sector overcome the pandemic of COVID-19.
As such, Destination Canada, the national tourism marketing organization, will invest $ 30 million with marketing organizations provincial and territorial to support the recovery of communities. This sum was originally intended to attract foreign visitors to Canada.
The financing will be used instead to help the provinces and territories to encourage Canadians to discover their “corner of the country” because the international borders remain largely closed because of the COVID-19.
“A lot of people who have lost their jobs are in the tourism sector. The idea is to save the summer, but also save the summer in a different way, said the minister of economic Development and official Languages, Monique Joly to The canadian Press. There is a huge movement in the country in favor of buying local. We want to see these people discover and encourage even more local businesses. I want to give birth to a new movement: to visit your region. Rediscover your beautiful city and your region.”
The government also reserves about $ 40 million so that the tourism agencies of the north and south of the Ontario and western Canada are able to adapt their activities to the pandemic.
Discussions are ongoing for the tourist areas of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, said Mrs. Joly.
While declaring that it was “a step in the right direction”, the president and chief executive of the tourism industry Association of Canada; Charlotte Bell, has called for more talks between the government and the sector about measures to be taken in the long term.
“The survival of the sector, which provided more than $ 100 billion to the canadian economy before the pandemic and supported 1.8 million jobs, depends on a coordinated plan for the recovery and the re-opening. This plan shall include, in the opinion of the sector”, she preached.
According to a study Destination Canada, if the pandemic is brought under control, the fall in tourism expenditure could reach 35 % compared to 2019. The number of job losses could amount to 263 000.
Ms. Joly feels that other government programs launched since the beginning of the pandemic, such as wage subsidy or rent assistance, have been able to help the tourism sector, but further efforts are needed at the time that the summer season is approaching and the provinces, releasing a little bit of containment measures.
But at the same time, Canadians are also recommending to stay at home to avoid spread of the disease. The provinces are in the process of lifting some restrictions, but fears of a second wave remained present.
“People are trying to find the right balance between the survival of a tourism sector and the insurance won’t continue to spread the virus”, has defended Ms. Joly.
Some leaders of the tourism sector have asked at all levels of government to clarify and coordinate their policies for travel before the summer season.
The tourism sector employs approximately one Canadian out of 11. According to a report published last month, it could lose up to $ 47 billion $ this year because of the pandemic.