Canada’s tourism industry is in crisis
Canadian travel agents and booksellers are reporting a massive wave of cancellations and departures from major destinations this week, the largest of which is expected to take place this week.
“The travel industry is really in crisis right now,” said Bob Friese, who heads the Canadian Association of Travel Agents (CAFTA), a trade group for agents.
“There is no money in the market.
There are no jobs, and that is putting a lot of stress on agents and travel salespeople.”
He said some travel agents are losing clients as a result.
“We’ve been seeing cancellations, particularly at major destinations like Toronto and Vancouver,” he said.
Frieser said some of his members are seeing the market shrink, while others are seeing a surge in demand from visitors who have no choice but to return to their countries.
“They’ve basically been told that it’s a one-way ticket to hell,” Friesed said.
“It’s not the first time it’s happened.
The last thing you want to do is turn your back on a loved one.
We’ve lost a lot more than we can count.”
The CAFTA has been working closely with the Canadian Tourism Council (CTC), which represents tourism agencies in the country.
“When you see people cancel their plans because of uncertainty in their financial futures, it’s really distressing,” said CTC spokesperson Kristine Pfeiffer.
“CTC has a very strong track record of supporting the tourism sector in the United States, and is committed to continuing to do so in Canada.”
Pfei said the CTC is also working to increase the number of Canadian passports available for purchase, with a number of airlines and travel agencies issuing new passports in the past year.
Frie said some travelers are still willing to travel, but are worried about their finances.
“For some people, they’re very fearful about their future financial situation,” Frie explained.
“Some people just don’t want to put in the effort to get there, and they’re really just worried about the experience they’re going to have when they get there.”
Fries said some people who are planning on leaving the country in the next few days have found they can’t afford the costs associated with going.
“One person is just about to leave his home in Alberta, and it’s just not affordable,” Frys said.