Calgary’s tourism industry experiencing significant impact from COVID-19
66 percent of industry already temporarily laid off
March 26, 2020 – Like many industries facing negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary’s tourism industry is not immune. From recent Tourism Calgary surveying of industry leaders, 85 percent of businesses related to the industry have already been impacted through temporary closures, reduced sales and temporary layoffs. In fact, approximately 66 percent of workers in Calgary’s tourism industry have been temporarily laid off. That number is expected to climb as restrictions to support flattening the curve of the virus prolong.
Today, Tourism Calgary announced that 60 percent of its team will be temporarily laid off, with remaining staff having reduced compensation including some with hourly reductions, as a direct result of decreased funding due to COVID-19. Tourism Calgary’s primary funder, the Calgary Hotel Association, has seen its revenues significantly impacted as global travel and hotel stays have plummeted.
“Today’s decisions were very difficult,” says Cindy Ady, CEO Tourism Calgary. “Our entire industry is being severely impacted by the effects of this pandemic, however we are retaining a core team to support our industry partners and to plan for recovery so we can rebuild Calgary’s $2 billion annual visitor economy in a responsible and prudent way, when the time is appropriate.”
Tourism in Canada accounts for 1 in 10 jobs. In Calgary, 22 percent of tourism-related businesses indicate that they will need to make further adjustments to their operating model within one week, and amongst those who have yet to enact to layoffs, 54 percent estimate they will need to do so if the situation persists longer than three weeks.
Tourism Calgary’s temporary layoffs are effective in early April.
About Tourism Calgary
Tourism Calgary is the official destination marketing, sales and development organization for Calgary's tourism industry. For more than 50 years, the organization’s primary purpose has been to promote Calgary and area as the destination of choice. With a vision of making Calgary the ultimate host city, Tourism Calgary markets the city locally, nationally and internationally and advocates for its ongoing development as a destination. The organization hosts and attracts visitors, events, meetings and conventions and activates the city by fostering the growth of shareable, memorable experiences. Calgary’s tourism industry contributes more than $2 billion in visitor spending by nearly 8 million visitors annually.