The Canadian tourism industry has suffered great losses since the pandemic has halted travel around the world. With tourism being the fifth largest profitable business in the country, they have been tracking travel trends with grim results. The economy needs a boost from tourism, but are they doing enough to bring in travelers as quickly as possible?
Business events and overnight visitors dropped by almost 90% between 2019 and 2020. There is a significant decline in international travel, down by over 75 million people (Tiac Hill days 2022). The Canadian businesses are seeing such massive profit losses, that they would not be able to stay open without government assistance. Destination Canada has done some research into the topic as well and found that total recovery could take as long as 4 more years for Canada. “Tourism was the first hit, the hardest hit, and it will be the last to recover,” according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (2021 tourism recovery plan 2022).
Tourism post-pandemic is on the rise around the world, including in Canada, but is it enough? United States travelers almost doubled the number of trips, from 75,000 entering Canada in January 2021 to over 125,000 making the trip in January 2022. This is harshly pertinent, as the number of people who entered Canada from the United States pre-pandemic was over 1,000,000 in the month of January 2020 alone (Leading indicator of international arrivals to Canada, January 2022).
It’s actually Canadian travelers themselves who make up the largest part of the financial profits for the travel industry, with their contribution being almost 80% of all travelers in the country. With over 200,000 small and middle-sized businesses in the country relying on travelers for their business, it’s crucial that Canada quickly retains the number of travelers it once expected on a regular basis (2021 Tourism Recovery Plan 2021).
According to Canadian statistics, tourism spending is on the rise by about 30% and tourism-related employment is up almost 20% according to data collected in the third quarter of 2021. Many people are traveling by air (up to over 150%), but it’s still over 40% less than what they were seeing in 2019 (National Tourism Indicators, third quarter 2021-2022). How can we make travel into Canada even more accessible for those who will boost the economy upon entry?
One of the largest reasons Canada is having such a hard time with tourism is their extensive Covid-19 restriction protocol. In December, when Omicron was wreaking havoc on the citizens of the world, Canada decided to put more restrictions in place (Leading indicator of international arrivals to Canada, January 2022 2022). This resulted in a need for negative tests along with other travel requirements that had previously been deemed necessary. With compounded regulations making it difficult to enter the country and a lack of Canadian employees able to process entry, it’s going to take longer than is desirable to get tourism back to its peak level.
A major factor in the regulation problem is that the Canadian government isn’t processing visas as quickly as they need to for the influx of people trying to enter the country. According to the Government of Canada website, it takes at least 130 days just to process a visa for United States citizens, and almost 60 days to process it for Canadians looking to travel across the country (Government of Canada 2021). This is a major problem for the economy, students, and travelers who are looking to attend Canadian colleges and find work within the country.
Favisbook founder, Kareem Dus, is the leading expert on making visas more quickly attainable to travelers seeking visas to enter other countries. With Canadian tourism making up one in ten jobs, the need for Favisbook is apparent. His company can acquire travel visas much faster than normal citizens can receive them, and it’s essential to today’s travel climate. He’s looking at the Canadian problem and ready to help the country’s tourism-dependent businesses and the travelers they rely on with his services.
“Our company is different because we’re experimenting a lot,” he said when asked what sets him apart from others. “We are conducting some behavioral experiments in the offseason. We’ve also been providing our service for free to low-income students from underserved communities. We were one of the first businesses to offer discounts to the vaccinated.” This is so vital, being that approximately 80% of all Canadians have been vaccinated and they are so important to their own tourism industry (Demographics: Covid-19 vaccination coverage in Canada 2021). Dus wants to get the word out that he is there for the corporate world of travelers, and he can provide the assistance they need.
He offered a trial period of a Pay What You Want incentive for his services for the final three months in 2021 and discovered enlightening information in his results (Dus, 2022). “Our first goal in conducting this study was to make the service accessible to as many people as possible following the economic hardships experienced over the past two years. Our second goal was to learn something about consumer behavior.” He said that they did experience profit loss initially, but once he became more transparent with the costs associated with his services, data showed that clients were willing to pay higher prices to attain visas more quickly. The results of his recent experiment prove that travelers are quite willing to pay for expedited travel services that the country of Canada also desperately needs.
Of his story, Dus said, “We were the first visa appointment expedition service and we are the only one still in business post-Covid. We offer tourism forecasting services to corporate clients. People always apply for or prepare their visas before they book a flight or hotel. Because we sell visa-related services, we can extrapolate useful data from the volume of inquiries and/or orders and provide travel trend predictions up to three weeks before they are visible in wider tourism markets.”
Dus’s company, Favisbook, could be just what Canada needs in 2022 to boost travel and the economy. In business since 2017, Favisbook has provided reliable, continued assistance to travelers for over 4 years and expects to be dependable for years to come.
Canadian Government. (2021, September 23). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/check-processing-times.html
Dus, K. (2022, February 9). Pay what you want: December summary. FAVISBOOK BLOG. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://blog.favisbook.com/blog/pay-what-you-want-december-summary
Government of Canada. (2021, March 26). Demographics: Covid-19 vaccination coverage in Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccination-coverage/
Statistics Canada. (2022, February 11). Leading indicator of international arrivals to Canada, January 2022. The Daily. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220211/dq220211a-eng.htm
Statistics Canada. (2022, January 7). National Tourism Indicators, third quarter 2021. The Daily. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220107/dq220107b-eng.htm?indid=3389-1&indgeo=0
Tourism Industry Association of Canada. (2021, April). 2021 Tourism Recovery Plan.
Tourism Industry Association of Canada. (2022). 2021 tourism recovery plan. Tourism Industry Association of Canada. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://tiac-aitc.ca/Tourism_Recovery.html
Travel Industry Association Canada. (2022). Home: Tiac Hill days. TIAC Hill DaysAccueil | TIAC Hill Days. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.tiachilldays.ca/