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Canadian tourism employment set to surpass pre-pandemic level in 2024

Tourism employment through 2023 is expected to be 2.02 million, or 97.1 per cent of pre-pandemic level
The Koningsdam cruise ship was the last one to visit Vancouver in 2023

Tourism HR Canada has updated its employment projections for the country's tourism sector, and said it expects the number of tourism jobs to surpass pre-pandemic levels next year. 

About 2.02 million Canadians are set to be employed in the tourism sector through the end of this year, according to the pan-Canadian organization that has a mandate to build a dynamic and resilient tourism workforce. That's about 97.1 per cent of the approximately 2.062 million Canadians in tourism jobs in 2019. 

"By 2027, employment in the tourism sector will be 7.5 per cent (or roughly 156,900 additional people employed in jobs) higher than in 2019," Tourism HR Canada said in its new report  Projections of Tourism Employment in Canada 2019-2017, which was prepared by the Canadian Tourism Research Institute and the Conference Board of Canada. 

Projections of employment recoveries to pre-pandemic levels vary by industry niche.

Accommodations- and transportation-related jobs, for example, are not expected to pass 2019 employment levels until 2026, according to the report. 

The number of recreation- and entertainment-related jobs passed 2019 employment levels in 2022. Food and beverage services and travel services are expected to pass 2019 employment levels in 2024, the report said.

There are projected regional differences as well, with the Atlantic provinces, the Prairies, and B.C. expected to surpass 2019 employment levels in 2024, while tourism employment in Quebec, Ontario, and the three territories is expected to recover in 2025.

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