According to a report, the tourism industry of Alberta’s Jasper municipality has shown signs of recovery and resilience in the battle against the pandemic. Significant numbers of visitors and occupancy show the improvement.
The number of visitors decreased by 200,000 from 2019’s 1.7 million to 1.5 million this year. However, that is only for the peak months of May through September.
“Total visitation, I think, was very strong,” said James Jackson, president, and CEO of Tourism Jasper.
“Oddly enough, September of 2021 outperformed September of 2019, so that bodes very, very well in terms of the demand of the destination.”
Occupancy was high, with Jasper recording 66 percent from May to September. This is an increase of 12 percent over 2020.
The second part of the year’s season saw an increase in the occupancy rate of around 80 percent between August and July.
Jackson said that these positive trends could be attributed to various factors, including vaccinations, changes to lockdown measures, the ease of borders, the opening of Whistlers Campground, and an effort by local businesses to promote their products to the region’s population.
The proof of vaccination helped improve the tourism industry by “ensuring professionally managed environments – bars, restaurants, attractions – can be extremely safe,” Jackson said.
He predicted a further boost in the tourism industry for 2022 and cited “positive signals” from the federal government about border restrictions.
“We’re not quite to the 2019 rate, but we’re getting there, and so that tells us that there is significant demand for Jasper‘s experience,” he said.
“As we look forward to 2022, we know that we have lost of international business on the books. We’ve been rebooking tons of groups all over this last summer and past winter in anticipation of opening up.”