Business community calling for restrictions on international travel to be lifted
Friday, July 16, 2021 2:11:00 PM
- Montréal Business Leaders Join Calls from Across the Country Urging the Federal Government to Open Canadian Borders to Fully Vaccinated International Travellers.
- Business community calling for restrictions on international travel to be lifted before a federal election is called. -
Together with the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (The Roundtable), industry leaders from Montréal are calling on the federal government to re-open Canada to fully vaccinated international travellers. With the second consecutive summer travel season now officially in jeopardy, time is ticking for Montréal businesses.
In a normal year, Montréal welcomes more than 11 million visitors, generating nearly $5 billion in revenue for the city. As a result of the pandemic, the number of international visitors to Montréal in 2020 decreased by 94 per cent year over year, and the city experienced its lowest hotel occupancy rate ever of around 15 per cent.1
Local Montréal businesses rely heavily on international tourism. In the summer of 2019, over 4 million international tourists arrived at the Montréal Trudeau Airport. Prior to the start of the pandemic, international tourism to Montréal was growing at a rate of 10% annually. Though we applaud the recent easing of certain restrictions for Canadians travelling internationally, fully vaccinated foreign travellers are still unable to visit Canada, and this is leaving a devastating impact on local business.
Canadians have been rushing in droves to get vaccinated – breaking records nearly every day. Montréalers have been doing their part too; over 70% of the city's residents have received a first dose of the vaccine. The federal government should be rewarding this effort with clear guidance on what re-opening looks like.
As Canada gears up for a likely fall election, the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable requests that the federal government follow the advice of its Expert Advisory Panel on Testing and Screening and re-open Canada to fully vaccinated international travellers before everything pauses in advance of a federal election. The restrictions for international travellers expire on July 21st. However, government has extended these restrictions several times since their implementation. We are calling on the federal government not to prolong these restrictions any longer and to re-open borders to international travelers.
SOURCE: Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable