Canada’s tourism industry braces for impact of new coronavirus on travel

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OTTAWA — Canada’s tourism industry is bracing for the impact of the novel coronavirus on the number of foreign visitors this summer travel season.

Some experts are already seeing a change in the number of people coming from overseas, particularly from China — the second largest long-haul market for Canada-bound tourists and where the outbreak began.

But Chinese travellers, while heavily sought after by the Canadian tourism industry, still make up a relatively small portion of Canada’s annual visitors.

Several Canadian tourism marketing agencies have pulled all their ad money from China and are using it to double down on efforts to attract people from other markets like the United States and United Kingdom.

Canada is still considered a safe destination for international and domestic travellers, with a low risk of transmission.

As for festivals and other large events, federal and provincial health authorities in Ontario and British Columbia have so far not issued special instructions about large gatherings like events and festivals, calling it “business as usual.”

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