Some of the hardest hit sectors include:
- retail: $1.68 billion
- food and beverage: $1.33 billion
- accommodations: $1.21 billion
- finance: $1.03 billion
- transportation: $0.81 billion
- attractions and entertainment: $0.71 billion
- other: $1.59 billion
Also lost from reduced tourism was $1.44 billion in unrealized tax revenue for the federal, provincial and municipal governments.
Destination Toronto said the analysis comes from the “visitor economy study” that was released in late 2019 produced by Tourism Economics (in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade). The study found that 27.5 million visitors to Toronto generated an economic impact of $10.3 billion and supported 70,000 jobs in the related industries.
Scott Beck, president and CEO of Destination Toronto, said one of the sectors devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic was the meetings and events industry. Beck said Destination Toronto tracked 463 conferences and events that were either cancelled or postponed since the start of the pandemic costing $833 million in losses in that sector alone.
Beck said 380,000 attendees did not come to Toronto in the last year and “as a result, they didn’t stay in hotels or visit attractions, didn’t spend money in our retail shops, or eat in our restaurants.”
“Prior to the pandemic, Toronto had been riding a wave of momentum and experienced annual growth in visitor spending for over a decade. The foundation of our past success, rooted in the quality of our city’s experience, gives us confidence in the inevitable recovery of our industry,” Beck said.
Destination Toronto said when the Greater Toronto Area region is factored into the analysis, the economic losses grow from $8.35 billion to more than $14 billion.
“We are working non-stop to get through this pandemic so that we can safely restart and reopen our city,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said. “Prior to the pandemic, Toronto was welcoming millions of people from the around the world who were eager to see and experience our city.”
“One of the hardest hit areas during the pandemic has been the hospitality and tourism sector but I am absolutely confident that this sector will come back strong with more jobs than ever before. I am determined to work with Destination Toronto and businesses across the city to attract visitors and ensure all the success we had before COVID-19 continues when these tough times are over,” Tory said.
Destination Toronto, formerly known as Tourism Toronto, markets and promotes the city to global travellers, visitors, businesses and for meeting and event spaces. It works in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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