Canada counts on Big Outdoors, Indigenous tourism to bring Americans back

Just 41% of US travelers said in a June 2022 sentiment survey that they had a planned trip to Canada in the following nine months. Granted this was before Canada announced an end to all entry requirements as of Oct. 1, but confidence in vacationing north of the border has taken a hit. Consider that before the COVID-19 pandemic, two-thirds of Canada’s total overnight visitors were from the US

Marsha Walden, Destination Canada’s chief executive officer, says her No. 1 priority is communicating to Americans that Canada is wide open. “We’ve always been a very safe country to visit, but now all of those little hassle factors that used to make it a little harder to plan your trip are gone,” she says. “So it’s very, very, easy now to enter Canada.”

The removal of all COVID-era restrictions — mandatory masking rules, the ArriveCAN entry app, vaccination cards, random airport testing and potential quarantines — comes as the North American holiday season approaches. It also comes more than two years since the pandemic decimated Canada’s tourism industry.

A Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep on a cliff's edge in the mountains of Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.

The US was Canada’s primary tourist market in 2019, with 15 million Americans visiting that year. At the close of 2021, the figure was at a dramatic low of 45,000. Tourism revenue had reached C$105 billion ($76 billion) in 2019, and continued to lag at C$63 billion in 2021. The good news is that Canada’s tourism revenue could reach just 0.8% below 2019 levels by the end of 2023, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Leave a Comment