Tourism sector recovers from COVID lockdown

Saskatchewan’s tourism sector rebounded rapidly from the dramatic decline caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

In 2019. the year before the lockdown. tourism expenditures contributed $2.4 billion to the provincial economy.

That declined by one-half to $1.2 billion during the lockdown.

The figures for 2023 aren’t complete but the estimated expenditures are about $2.7 billion, Jonathon Potts, CEO of Tourism Saskatchewan told a tourism conference in Swift Current.

That puts the province well on the road to the goal of $5 billion by 2030.

Tourism “made an amazing recovery” first with domestic and Alberta visitors and then last year visitors from across Canada, he said.

This year international visitors are showing increased interest in coming.

Trends in domestic tourism involve cultures.

“Thirty-three per cent of (Saskatchewan residents) are of non-European descent.

“Seventeen per cent are Indigenous and 16 per cent are visible minorities.’’

In Alberta 33 per cent are of non-European descent with one in 10 of those Indigenous. The rest are visible minorities.

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