The future of hospitality and tourism in Canada: Preparing for a new era

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of hospitality and tourism has become an important topic of discussion among professionals across the industry.

Canada’s hospitality and tourism industry is a significant contributor to the economy, employing over 1.8 million workers and generating $90 billion annually. The country’s success in the global tourism market depends on its ability to attract, develop and retain talent.

The future of hospitality and tourism in Canada

The pandemic has significantly impacted the hospitality and tourism industry in Canada, leading to questions about its future and the strategies needed for its recovery. The demand for skilled professionals with diverse expertise has grown as the sector becomes more complex and competitive, incorporating data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies. To address this need, industry stakeholders must collaborate to create innovative solutions, attract investments and develop new strategies for sustainable growth.

Canada’s success in the global tourism market depends on its ability to adapt to changing trends, attract, develop, retain talent, and capitalize on its unique offerings. This requires a multi-faceted approach that includes marketing campaigns, infrastructure improvements and collaborations with local businesses, and the development of new experiences catering to diverse traveller preferences.

Key areas of focus for the future of hospitality and tourism in Canada include:

Sustainable tourism

As environmental concerns become increasingly important, Canada must prioritize the development of eco-friendly tourism practices and promote its natural assets responsibly. This includes investing in green infrastructure, minimizing tourism activities’ environmental impact and educating visitors about travel responsibility.

The Government of Canada announced funding in January 2023 of $557 million over three years to ensure the continuation of infrastructure projects and maintenance work for Parks Canada’s assets supporting the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors.

Technology and innovation

Adopting advanced technologies such as AI, data analytics and virtual reality (VR) can enhance the visitor experience, streamline operations and provide valuable insights for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector. Embracing these technologies and fostering innovation will be essential for staying competitive in the global market.

VR ski tours are becoming increasingly popular among ski resorts as an innovative way to promote their offerings and attract more visitors. These immersive experiences allow potential guests to explore the slopes, facilities and events from the comfort of their own homes, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation.

Niche markets

Canada has the opportunity to capitalize on niche markets, such as culinary tourism and adventure travel, by developing unique experiences that cater to these specific interests. Promoting and investing in these niche markets can help diversify Canada’s tourism offerings and attract new visitors.

Workforce development

The success of the hospitality and tourism industry depends on a skilled workforce that can meet the evolving needs of travellers. Businesses and higher education institutions must collaborate to create training programs and career development opportunities that prepare workers for the diverse and dynamic challenges of the industry.

Co-op opportunities offered by post-secondary institutions provide students with hands-on experience in the industry, allowing them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the workforce.

Top Canadian cities for hospitality and tourism

Canada offers a diverse range of tourist destinations, from its lively cities to its breathtaking natural landscapes. According to WorldAtlas, these are the top five most-visited Canadian cities:

Toronto, Ontario

The country’s financial hub boasts towering skyscrapers and numerous museums and theatres that showcase the diverse cultures of its inhabitants worldwide. It is renowned for events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, the iconic CN Tower and the Scotia Bank Arena, which frequently hosts games of the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto ranks 29th among the most popular destinations worldwide and is a top choice among travellers visiting Canada, according to data.

Vancouver, British Columbia

This picturesque coastal city in the westernmost part of Canada attracts numerous visitors annually with its pleasant weather, considered the mildest among all Canadian cities. Apart from the climate, the city is renowned for its stunning natural parks nestled among mountains and impressive bodies of water.

Vancouver boasts a vibrant urban center with many fashion boutiques, sidewalk cafes, galleries, renowned restaurants and towering skyscrapers. Its oldest neighbourhood, Gastown, features well-reserved Victorian buildings and was recognized as a national historic site in 2009.

Montreal, Quebec

Montreal’s allure stems from its blend of European influence and contemporary charm. Dubbed the Paris of Canada, the city’s primary attraction is its Old Town, which has maintained much of its 17th-century architecture. The cobblestone streets and structures from the 17th century are a major draw for visitors and reflect the French influence that has left a significant mark on the city’s history.

Many visitors prefer to explore Old Montreal on foot and admire the centuries-old buildings, such as the Notre Dame Basilica constructed in 1829 and the Place Jacques Cartier. This public square mirrors those found in Europe.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara has been a renowned tourist spot for visitors worldwide for a long time. The area has experienced a surge in tourism in recent years due to the addition of a casino resort. As a result, several new hotels, restaurants and other family-friendly venues have emerged in Niagara in the past few years.

The primary attraction is a trio of waterfalls known as the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, located on the border of New York and Ontario. Every year, thousands of tourists visit the region to witness this awe-inspiring water feature that has become a travel symbol.

Calgary Alberta

Calgary, the most populous city in Alberta, was the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympics in 1988. The city is among Canada’s largest and fifth most livable cities globally, attracting thousands of tourists annually.

It is nestled at the base of the Canadian Rockies and near Banff, a sought-after tourist destination in Canada. Prince Island Park, a renowned city attraction, hosts several festivals and celebrations annually, including the famous Calgary Stampede.

Interested in starting a career in the hospitality and tourism industry?

Toronto School of Management offers a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management Co-op, a Diploma in Fundamentals of Hospitality and Tourism Co-op, an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management Co-op and an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Niagara College Toronto offers a one-year graduate certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Canadian College of Technology and Business offers a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management with Co-op and a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Administration with Co-op.

These programs equip students with the skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen careers.

With a focus on real-world experiences, hands-on learning and industry connections, students will gain valuable insights into the dynamic world of hospitality and tourism, preparing them to become outstanding professionals and leaders in the ever-growing industry.

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