Tourism still below pre-pandemic levels

Ontario’s tourism industry is still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Destination Ontario, the province’s lead tourism agency, published the Ontario Tourism Health Check late last week.

Data revealed border crossings from the United States increased 53 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022 but were still 22 per cent lower than 2019 figures.

Outside of the United States, the most common visitors to Ontario are from the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Germany.

Occupancy rates at short-term rentals like Airbnb and other rental companies were down even below 2022 rates. In the Southwest Ontario region, the 2023 occupancy rate was 42.2 per cent, compared to 53.4 per cent in 2022 and 48.8 per cent in 2019.

Hotels rebounded a little better in 2023. In the Southwest Ontario region, the hotel occupancy rate was 64.3 per cent compared to 60.6 per cent in 2022 and 62 per cent in 2019.

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