Tourism is steadily improving in Canada as both Canadians and foreign nationals visiting from abroad buoy the hospitality sector and drive a much-needed recovery back to pre-pandemic levels, reports Statistics Canada.
The national statistical and demographic services agency reported this week that tourism activity in Canada was still down 21.2 per cent below the level for the same month in May 2019, the last full year before COVID-19 hit the country.
With border closures and public health restrictions, including temporary business shutdowns in many provinces, tourism took a massive hit in 2020.
But now, it’s back on the upswing.
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“Tourism activity has steadily improved from May 2021, except for a temporary pause in January 2022 due to the Omicron variant and renewed COVID-19 restrictions,” reports Statistics Canada.
“Both domestic and inbound travel contributed to the improvement in overall tourism recovery across the country in May, the third consecutive month to reach the highest level recorded since the onset of the pandemic.”
And leading indicators for the tourism sector are pointing to better times ahead.
In its Leading Indicator Of International Arrivals To Canada, June 2022 report released in July, Statistics Canada reveals that travel into the country hit levels this year that were comparable to those in 2019.
“In June, the number of international arrivals to Canada rose sharply compared with June 2021, nearing levels recorded in the same month in 2019, before the pandemic,” reports Statistics Canada.
“The 846,700 non-resident visitors arriving from abroad at Canadian airports equipped with electronic kiosks in June 2022 is over 820,000 more than in June 2021. Likewise, U.S. residents took 904,700 trips to Canada through land ports with electronic sensors in June 2022, over 800,000 more than in June 2021.”
Tourists coming from abroad and planning to visit Canada to reconnect with friends or family members might need either an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Visitor Visa.
Visitor Visas Allow Foreign Nationals To Come To Canada On Vacation
A Visitor Visa also called a Temporary Resident Visa, is a document used for tourists to enter Canada on a temporary basis. It is added to a traveller’s passport.
Foreign nationals can determine whether they need a visitor visa or an eTA depending on:
- the type of travel document they are using to travel;
- the country that issued that travel document;
- their nationality, and;
- the method of travel to Canada for this trip.
A few requirements for the Visitor Visa are:
- a present a valid travel document, such as a passport;
- proof of good health;
- no criminal or immigration-related convictions;
- proof of ties with the foreign national’s home country, which might be a job, a property, financial assets, or family;
- evidence the foreign national will leave Canada at the end of their visit, and;
- proof of sufficient funds for the stay.
Applications for visitor visas can be made online or at a Visa Application Center (VAC) by filling out several forms. The complexity might depend on additional requirements made by Canadian Immigration offices.
Typically, the fees for such a visitor visa are:
- Application fee of $100,
- Biometrics fees of $85 per person, and;
- Passport processing fees of about $45.
All dependents, such as spouses and minor children, must submit their own applications and should pay separate fees.