Pandemic hit Canadian tourism industry harder than 9/11, SARS, and 2008 financial meltdown: Report

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In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report says Canada's tourism industry is facing a crisis greater than the combined impacts of September 11th, 2001, the SARS outbreak and the 2008 global financial meltdown.

The report comes from Destination Canada, a Crown corporation whose mandate is to promote domestic tourism.

The organization says the depth of the pandemic means it will be a long recovery for the tourist industry, with potential shock waves for other areas of the economy.

The agency compiled new data for the report to be released tomorrow.

It says the tourism industry is linked to one in 10 Canadian jobs.

The report doubles as a call to action for Canadians to offset the damage to the country's tourism industry by taking domestic vacations once the public health situation improves.

The report says if enough Canadians shift their international travel plans to focus on domestic destinations, it could speed up the industry's recovery by up to one year.

Without any major change in consumer spending habits, the agency says it would take five years for the industry to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.