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Ottawa tourism outlook hopeful despite continued challenges

Tourism organizations and operators gathered n downtown Ottawa on Nov. 22 and 23, participating in the 2022 Tourism Congress to discuss what the industry can expect in the coming years.
USED Ottawa 2-Ottawa sign in the ByWard Market (Photo credit - Janet Stephens)
Ottawa sign in the ByWard Market

Canadian tourism organizations and operators gathered in downtown Ottawa on Nov. 22 and 23, participating in the 2022 Tourism Congress to discuss what the industry can expect in the coming years.

Catherine Callary, vice-president of destination development at Ottawa Toursim, said on Wake Up with Rob Snow on Nov. 24 that the tourism industry, though far from recovered, is looking forward to overcoming the challenges of the past few years.

"We are very hopeful and very pumped," said Callary. "We were really taking stock of how far we've come. We've all dealt with quite the crises in the last couple of years, but also our ongoing challenges. We were talking about solutions and what we want for the future of Canadian travel."

Recently released data from Destination Canada, the country's top tourism agency, states the pre-pandemic tourism spending is expected to rebound by 2024, a year earlier than previously thought. However, the spectre of a looming recession and continued inflation could push that recovery further down the road. 

"We've been doing quite well over the last year for domestic travel," said Callary. "Our international markets have different pressures on them. So that is going to take longer to come back."

The industry also continues to face a labour shortage. Seasonality, the on-and-off nature of lock downs and other pandemic restrictions created unpredictable employment in the industry, making it difficult for operators to attract and retain employees, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), who organize the annual tourism conference.

Despite the challenges, Callary believes the industry has a chance to better position itself as a growth industry filled with opportunity for people to build a long-term career as tourism recovers in Canada and globally.

Listen to the full interview with Catherine Callary on Wake Up with Rob Snow below: 

 

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