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Canada's tourism economy suffers unprecedented losses in 2020 – Global Times

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Few visitors are seen from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on March 2, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Few visitors are seen from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on March 2, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

 
Canada’s tourism economy suffered unprecedented losses in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is by far the most threatened sector in the country’s economy, according to Destination Canada on Monday.

From April to November 2020, revenues from air transportation for passengers fell 91 percent and accommodation revenues plummeted by 71 percent. Small and medium-sized businesses make up 99 percent of enterprises in the tourism sector.

During last summer, the highest weekly average occupancy rate for hotels in Canada only reached 42.9 percent. Passengers on major Canadian airlines for the month of June reached 440,000, which was 6.7 million fewer passengers than the same month a year prior.

Alongside rapid declines in tourism, the COVID-19 pandemic brought business events, entertainment and festivals to a halt; the combined impact resulted in massive losses to hotel revenues, with data showing that major cities have been hardest hit. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver downtown hotels recorded the lowest occupancies of any region in Canada, with revenues falling an estimated 79 percent in the last year, a loss of 2.3 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars) across the three cities.

Despite initial signs of recovery, the country’s tourism businesses continued facing significant financial stress resulting in business closures, some permanently, throughout the year. This resulted in a decline of 9 percent in active businesses from January to November 2020 — the greatest decline of all business sectors.

Destination Canada called the current situation facing the tourism sector the worst ever, direr than the impact experienced after 9/11, SARS and the 2008 economic crisis combined.

The tourism economy helps sustain 150,000 jobs in the country. One in every 10 Canadian jobs is tied to tourism.

The jobless rate in the tourism sector remained the highest out of any sector, 6.6 percent above the national rate at the end of 2020. The loss of core staff will hinder businesses’ ability to scale up efficiently, thus further impacting recovery.

The tourism economy isn’t just a key pillar of the Canadian economy, it’s critical to Canadian collective quality of life, said Marsha Walden, president and chief executive officer of Destination Canada.

Destination Canada said it faces an estimated 19 billion Canadian dollars shortfall that could be made up if Canadians shifted two-thirds of their planned spending on international leisure travel to travel at home.

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Britain is ‘bouncing back’ into the same old economy – The Guardian

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Britain is ‘bouncing back’ into the same old economy  The Guardian



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CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03

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* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

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Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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