As provinces and other countries continue to ease lockdown restrictions, many Canadians are still contemplating a summer trip are wondering what a potential holiday amid the pandemic could look like. Canadian and international tourism operators are taking steps to keep customers safe and still make their experience enjoyable.
While most provinces have opened their borders for travel within Canada, some popular international destinations are also beginning to ease their restrictions in a move to welcome back tourists. However, not everywhere is open, and travellers must follow certain rules.
It’s Different This Time
Much has been written about how Covid-19 has been different than other crisis that has affected the tourism industry in Europe and North American cities like Toronto. Unlike regional disasters, where tours could be re-scheduled or shifted to another location, Covid-19 was a global crisis. The sudden flight cancellations, border closures, and the shuttering of hotels, and restaurants happened worldwide in a short period of time. It’s lead to a 60 per cent drop in 60% in international tourism this year, according to the OECD.
That said, the tourism industry is starting to bounce back, and many operators have made the most of the time, upgrading their facilities, tackle compliance issues and getting ready to come back stronger. As well, some studies have shown that there are opportunities for Candian tourism as Canadians are looking to vacation closer to home.
Going further into the near future, there have been reports of how virtual reality might play a bigger part in the tourism industry, as well as some literally out of this world tourism ideas.
Travel in Canada in Abroad
Here’s what you need to know now if you are considering taking a trip to Canada or abroad.
Canada closed its borders to non-essential travel in March, and the Canadian government continues to update travel advisories, but travel within mutch of Canada remains open. Because it’s a travel advisory (not an order), Canadians can still travel abroad to the U.S. and other countries, but they do so at their own risk.
Even if the U.S. border doesn’t open, Canada should still be allowing visitors from other countries”, says the head of Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. In mid-July, the European Union announced it was re-opening borders to visitors from 15 countries, including Canada, but not from the U.S., Russia and Brazil.
Regardless of what country they visit, Canadians are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return home.
Additionally, Canadians must follow new rules when flying that include wearing face masks when in transit or at the airport and having their temperature checked before boarding.
Additionally, many Canadian tourism boards have been issuing guidelines and providing information for travellers. For instance, Niagara Falls is a very popular destination for both Canadian and international travellers. The Canadian Niagara Falls tourism board has set up SafeToPlay to outline steps to stay safe while still enjoying the scenic views and attractions Niagara Falls offers visitors. Other Canadian cities like Toronto have also issued guidelines.
What Tour Operators are Doing
One popular tour operator, Zoom Tours, has been in the tourism industry for almost half a century. They hаvе buіlt аn excellent rарроrt with gоvеrnmеnt tоurіѕt boards, аіrlіnеѕ, hоtеlѕ аnd thе trаvеl аgеnсу соmmunіtу over the years.
Zoom Tours specializes in bus tours, multi-city tours and many cities covering Canada and the eastern-U.S. Their еxреrіеnсеd mаnаgеmеnt tеаm in Cаnаdа provide expert pre-tour рlаnnіng аѕѕіѕtаnсе, whіlе their onsite рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ kеер them up to date оf new developments аll around thе world.
One of their most popular tours is their Niagara Falls Tours Packages. These start at a Toronto hotel and are hosted by one of their award-winning tour guides with a luxury coach bus. The tours feature a scenic drive through southern Ontario, into Niagara-On-The-Lake and a vineyard where you can attend a wine tasting on your way to Niagara Falls.
As you’d expect, they have made adjustments for safety in light of the pandemic. For bus tours, they have implemented the following preventative measures:
- They have been and will continue to wash and wipe down all of their buses daily.
- Are providing individual hand sanitizers to all of their employees.
- Disinfectant wipes will be placed on all buses so that high traffic areas, handrails and hard surfaces can be wiped down regularly.
- Disinfectant wipes will be made available in common work areas in every depot and office so that all doorknobs and hard surfaces can be wiped down regularly.
- While en route with passengers, all efforts will be made to allow as much fresh air as possible into the bus.