Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Air Canada says it will recall more than 2,600 employees who were furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Alberta’s tourism sector hurt by COVID-19 pandemic: ATB Financial

Between border closures, public health measures and hesitancy to travel, Alberta’s tourism sector has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, says ATB Financial.

As of March 2021, the number of travellers to Canada from the United States and other countries was down by 94 per cent compared to the same month in 2019.

In March 2019, over 100,000 travellers from the U.S. and other parts of the world visited Alberta. Only 3,065 did so in March 2021.

“The tourism sector relies on Canadian as well as international customers, but domestic travel is also down. Either way, the collapse of international travel has had — and continues to have — a devastating impact on many businesses,” said ATB Financial.

“The situation will improve as the pandemic recedes and workarounds such as ‘vaccine passports’ are implemented, but the virus is still in play and is actually getting worse in some parts of the world. As a result, it is not clear just how long it will take for tourism activity to fully bounce back.”

The tourism sector includes a broad range of businesses, such as hotels, conference centres, tourist sites, restaurants, travel agencies, airlines, event planners and souvenir manufacturers, ATB Financial explained.

”During this anxious time for the tourism sector, we can help offset at least some of the losses by supporting our local tourism businesses as much as we can.”



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