Canada’s tourism industry is bracing for the impact of the novel coronavirus on the number of foreign visitors this summer travel season.
Some people in the industry are already seeing a change in the number of people coming from overseas, particularly from China — the second-largest long-haul market for Canada-bound tourists and where the outbreak began.
“Bookings are down from China by about 70 percent between March and October, so that’s obviously quite considerable,” said Maya Lange, the vice-president of global marketing with Destination BC, a Crown corporation focused on attracting visitors to the province.
Several airlines have restricted the number of flights to the country, and some people have had difficulties getting visas due to temporary closures at some application centers.
Several Canadian tourism marketing agencies have pulled all their ad money from China and are using it to double down on efforts to attract people from other markets like the United States and the United Kingdom.
According to Statistics Canada, there were 571,000 tourist arrivals from China in 2019.
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