Published on : Saturday, December 4, 2021
A report released earlier this week indicates it will be a couple of years before the Indigenous tourism sector in Ontario recovers to pre-pandemic levels.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, was commissioned by Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO), the provincial organization that supports the growth of the Indigenous tourism industry.
The 34-page report is titled Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Ontario’s Indigenous Tourism Industry.
The report indicates the Indigenous tourism industry in Ontario will only partially recover in 2022 and that it will take until 2023 to reach (Gross Domestic Product) GDP and employment levels in 2019, the year before the pandemic began having significant impacts in Canada.
Kevin Eshkawkogan, ITO’s Chief Executive Officer, said his organization had done its own projections on pandemic impacts after compiling data in March and April of 2020.
He said that they projected a loss of $330 million for the tourism industry and the GDP.
Eshkawkogan also added that ITO officials felt the pandemic would also result in the loss of about 4,000 jobs in the Indigenous tourism sector in the province. About 13,000 people were working in the Indigenous tourism sector in Ontario in 2019.
Eshkawgogan said it was beneficial to have a third party do its own research into the industry on a provincial level.