The global outbreak of COVID-19 is slowly affecting the Canadian economy. The virus's adverse effects are not just affecting human health. It's also putting a damper on economic activity, business operations, and day-to-day life.
In line with this, the federal government recently upped its measures in limiting non-essential travel outside of the country. The said precautionary measures include bans on various forms of travel, including cruise ships and airplanes.
The announcement from the nation's capital mentioned the closure of all Canadian ports to cruise ships that carry more than 500 passengers. The said closure is said to be until October 1, 2020.
Canada Announces Suspension of Cruise Season
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canadian government has also announced the suspension of cruise season beginning April to October 2020. This announcement also includes cruise ships of all sizes, that travel to and from the Canadian arctic archipelago. This additional restriction is due to the limited capacity of most North Canadian communities in addressing public health concerns.
Currently, the same announcement does not cover smaller vessels and ferries. However, the Canadian government will soon implement measures applicable to all types of marine passenger vessels all over the country.
And although the announcement may seem definite and final, the government gave an assurance that they will continually assess the risks of the virus using science-based evidence. The possibility of lifting the suspension earlier than the date mentioned will depend on the COVID-19 status in the country. Also, the government vows to always take into consideration the best interests of Canadians based on their health and safety.
Cruise and gaming tourism into the danger?
The Prime minister of Canada created a roadmap to the digital economy back in 2017. The biggest part of the digital economy was digital gaming. ALong with digital gaming, Canada’s officials decided to develop gaming tourism. In 2019, gaming tourism has seen a massive growth. Gaming tourism is very important and experts believe that it will grow exponentially after the covid lockdowns. Tourists love to travel in other countries where the gaming industry is on another level. Canada is the country that has a different approach to gaming, especially to casino space. There are lots of top brands founded in Canada. International tourists love Canadian casino venues. They see exclusive casino games for real money when visiting venues for the first time. There are lots of VIP and private gaming offers to the tourists, so the gaming tourism is growing. Currently the industry is on hold, just like other tourism sectors. Experts believe that casino tourism will grow again after the cruise sector is back again.
Cruise and Ocean Tourism a Huge Canadian Industry, A Tough Decision
The decision to suspend cruise season was a tough decision for Transport Canada and the rest of the Canadian government. Policymakers are aware of the possible impacts of such a change to various Canadian industries, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industries.
Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Transport Canada, says the announced suspension will result in over 100 cruise ship arrival cancellations and 300,000 fewer passengers during the busiest seasons of spring and summer. He added that the unfortunate decision would significantly affect small businesses, and those working as entertainers, artisans, and tour guides.
Victoria Harbour to Face $70 Million Loss Due to COVID-19
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the closure of Canadian ports to ships with a capacity of over 500 passengers. This measure is still part of the government's efforts to deter the spread of COVID-19 in and out of the country.
And although the said precautionary measures will contribute significantly to limiting the entry and exit of potentially infected persons, the port closure will also broadly impact economic growth, especially within the Greater Victoria region.
Known as one of the busiest port-of-calls in Canada, the area had a 2020 projection of 300 ship arrivals and an estimate of 800,000 passengers for April to October. The closure will inadvertently cost Victoria an economic blow amounting to $70 million worth of profit loss. More importantly, it will cost locals about 1000 jobs that contribute over $130 million to Victoria's economy.