Tourism revenue in Canada decreased by nearly half in 2020, a dismal year that ended with a 3.3% drop in the industry's gross domestic product in the fourth quarter, Statistics Canada reported last week.
The federal agency reported that the tourism industry lagged behind the overall economy, which grew 2.3% in the fourth quarter and fell 5.4% in 2020.
Tourism employment fell 28.7% in 2020, with most of the decline occurring in the second quarter, Statistics Canada stated. Within the sector, food services and accommodation recorded the largest job losses, with declines of 32.3% and 35.2% respectively.
In 2020, domestic tourism's share of total tourism revenue in Canada rose to 92.7%, up from 78.4% in 2019, a consequence of restrictions on international travel.
In the fourth quarter, Canada's domestic tourism revenue decreased by 3.4%. An 18.5% increase in revenue on passenger air travel partly compensated for lower spending on food services and vehicle fuel. However, a total of 400 employees lost their job in the air travel sector.
The aviation sector is considered one of the country's economic engines, due to its importance in the transport of people and goods, in addition to the tourism impact it has on Canada. The International Air Line Pilots Association, which represents nearly 60,000 pilots who work for some 30 companies in Canada and the United States, have been discussing the situation with government officials requiring effective financial aid.