Toronto’s biggest tourist attractions are calling on the government to come up with a clear plan to reopen and resume international travel to Canada after being closed and losing revenue for many months.
Industry executives, including spokespersons from Ripley’s Aquarium, Mirvish Productions, Hilton Hotels and the Toronto Region Board of Trade as well as the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (CTTR), described the dire situation at which the attractions tourist faces if they are forced to miss another whole summer. tourism revenue at a press conference on Tuesday.
“The tourism and travel sector plays a vital role in the economy of the Toronto area and we are now poised to see two summer travel seasons disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lindsay Broadhead of the Toronto Region Board of Trade in a statement.
“Companies like Ripley’s Aquarium and Mirvish Productions provide essential cultural and economic value to Toronto’s economy. In our tourism and business visitor economies, we must have a plan in place to open up – our business community has done everything possible to ensure that facilities are safe for visitors; it is time for the attractions of our cities to be given the green light to reopen, they are more than ready. “
According to the CTTR, no sector has been hit harder by COVID-19 restrictions than the tourism and hospitality sectors.
And a recent analysis from CTTR member Destination Toronto shows that Toronto has lost more than $ 8 billion in economic activity due to a lack of visitor spending – a number rising to $ 14 billion for the all of the GTA.
As Canada Day approaches, The Roundtable says tourist attractions are once again missing on summer’s busiest travel weekend, and fully vaccinated Canadian and American travelers should be able to plan concretely. their summer trip to visit Toronto.
The federal government has yet to release a full reopening plan for international and domestic travel, especially around fully vaccinated foreign nationals visiting Canada, and industry leaders say this needs to be urgently resolved before many of Toronto’s beloved attractions were forced to face permanent closure.
“Ripley’s Aquarium has been closed since November 2020 and has not generated any income. We are now well into the summer season, our busiest time of the year, and have no indication as to when we can. reopen, “said Peter Doyle, managing director of Ripley’s Aquarium, in a statement.
“Toronto is one of the most vaccinated places in the world, but the government has not told Torontonians and businesses in Toronto what to expect as vaccination efforts continue. We have all been left in the dark. As a result, our business is in trouble, ”he continued.
“We must be allowed to reopen immediately and open our doors to welcome international visitors. By banning fully vaccinated travelers from entering Canada, the government is putting Canadian businesses at a significant disadvantage that, after 16 months of the pandemic, need a successful summer. season to survive.