While the news has raised concern among some who are concerned that Americans may increase cases of the Delta variant, many, especially in border towns, are delighted. Marg Harding, city councilor for St. Stephen, New Brunswick, a town of 4,400 people on the Maine state border, said The Globe and Mail that an increase in the number of visitors would breathe new life into the city. “We are the front door… people stop and shop here,” she said. “Any business in town here could benefit. She hopes the number of cases will remain low in her province, “but we certainly want to see our American friends again.”
Indeed. The US tourism market is huge for Canada. American tourists spend almost as much money in Canada as foreigners from all other countries combined. In 2018, for example, American visitors spent $ 10.6 billion, while tourists from other countries together spent $ 11.3 billion.
The pandemic, a time for reflection and demands for change
When American travelers start returning next week, they will discover a country that, like theirs, has changed. Tourists will discover a Canada quieter than it was in the days before the pandemic, a Canada a little more beaten and very humiliated. At least for now.
Many restaurants, bars and shops have not survived the multiple closures. And, in the case of Quebec, the curfew of nearly five months at 8 p.m., during which even outdoor dining during the day was prohibited, was even more severe on restaurateurs. In April of this year, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada announced that it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
According to a report compiled in March 2021 by Destination Canada, the country’s official tourism board, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian tourism industry was greater than that suffered after September 11, SARS and the economic crisis of 2008 combined. With 10 percent of Canadian jobs linked to tourism, thousands of people working in tourism or in tourism-related industries suddenly found themselves unemployed.
Canada’s immunization campaign got off to a rocky start due to a lack of vaccine supplies, compounded by long delays in deliveries. And it didn’t help that the country shut down its own vaccine manufacturing facilities a few decades ago.
Eight months since the start of the vaccination campaign, however, the country’s vaccination efforts are going surprisingly well. As of July 24, 80.3 percent of Canadians aged 12 and over had received at least one dose of the vaccine, of which 63.68 percent had been completely vaxxed.
As in the United States, over the past 18 months, Canada has experienced troubling and tragic events that have forced it to question its most fundamental values and its values. purpose as a nation. In a country that many foreigners – and even Canadians themselves – regard as a distinguished and multicultural utopia, Canada has been forced to face its own racist and misogynistic demons. There have been several police murders of blacks, Aboriginal people and people with mental illness. And the nation was deeply shocked when in May, the remains of 215 First Nations children were found at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia. Since then, more remains have been found at more sites.
In many ways, the pandemic served as a tipping point. It was a time of serious reflection, demonstration (where possible) and demands from the public for real and radical change.
Rules for Visitors to Canada
Vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States who have received a full set of one of the four vaccines approved in Canada (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or AstraZeneca) at least 14 days prior to arrival in Canada will not be eligible for not required to quarantine.
However, visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. This must be done through ArriveCAN, which can be downloaded as an app or by creating an account and logging in online.
Travelers should also be prepared for the possibility of being randomly selected for PCR testing on their first day in Canada. They should also have a quarantine plan in case the test results are positive.
During various closures, some interprovincial borders were closed to residents of other provinces. This was especially true in the Atlantic provinces — Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Provincial borders reopened this summer, but some provinces, such as Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotia, require travelers to complete a travel form or secure check-in form. Check the Destination Canada website to check the guidelines for each province and territory and see what’s open.
New, regenerative and inspiring experiences
While travel to Canada this summer and into 2022 will certainly not be the same as before the pandemic, there is still a lot to offer. In terms of nature activities and meaningful, transformative experiences giving back to communities, wildlife and the environment, probably more.
National and provincial parks are attracting more than ever since the pandemic prompted people to seek out the great outdoors and develop a greater appreciation for nature, wildlife, especially birds, and the starry sky. While Indigenous tourism took a heavy blow when they learned that the federal government would not be allocating funds in 2021, public interest is stronger than ever and there remains a plethora of immersive and impactful tourism experiences. of First Nations available from the Atlantic to the Pacific for the Arctic Oceans.
The experiences and places mentioned below should, in the words of Destination Canada President and CEO Marsha Walden, “inspire you and make you proud to tell people where you have visited…. because today’s travelers want more than an experience, ”she says. “They want personal enrichment.
Vancouver Island’s Malahat SkyWalk, a 600-meter (1,968-foot) elevated “tree walk” above a forested mountain overlooking the Salish Sea, opened in July of this year. Located on the traditional territory of the Malahat Nation, the site incorporates Indigenous histories and culture into its design.
At Nk ‘Mip Cellars in British Columbia’s famous Okanagan Valley, guests taste fine wines from North America’s first Indigenous-owned winery.
For star hunters, the Yukon offers many opportunities for stargazing and northern lights. Terra Riders introduced an Aurora Canoe Tour on Lake Laberge available between late August and early November.
Alberta’s Writing on Stone Provincial Park, located in the Canadian Badlands, received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2019 for containing the most notable concentration of First Nations petroglyphs and protected pictographs on the Great Plains from North America.
The John Ware Hut in Dinosaur Provincial Park, also in the badlands of Alberta, is a testament to John Ware, the legendary black slave from South Carolina who rose to prominence in the Canadian prairies for his remarkable skills in horseback riding, for his sympathetic personality and his strength to be.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park, an ecological and archaeological park and interpretive museum / site in Saskatchewan, completed a US $ 32 million expansion at the end of 2020. The site now includes seven new exhibits, a new snowshoe trail / hiking, a renovated restaurant and a conference room inspired by the traditional native hand drum of the northern plains. And, in December 2019, the park reintroduced a herd of plains bison.
With the opening in early 2021 of the Qaumajuq Inuit Art Center, the Winnipeg Art Gallery of Manitoba is now home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
The wilderness Point Grondine Park of Indigenous-owned and operated backcountry Ontario offers visitors the opportunity to canoe along ancient canoe routes, participate in hand-drum performances and join a guided hike to learn about edible and medicinal plants.
In Montreal, a city one wouldn’t usually associate with black history, Rito Joseph offers historic walking tours of Old Montreal, Little Burgundy, and downtown with an emphasis on the little-known history of the city’s blacks.
And just outside Quebec City, in Wendake, Quebec, the Huron-Wendat Nation amazes visitors with its Hotel-Musée Premieres Nations, its museum, its luxury hotel, its nature spa and its gourmet restaurant. The site also features an impressive traditional longhouse surrounded by an imposing fort made of hewn logs at the top.
The Celtic Performing Arts Center in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, opened in the summer of 2018. The state-of-the-art facility can accommodate 290 people and is attached to the College of Piping, where students can learn bagpipes, drums, violins and tap dancing. , ballet, hip hop and more.
Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021, the Fundy Trail Parkway, a 2,559 hectare park with a 30 km (18.6 mile) boardwalk along the south coast of New Brunswick, is a dream come true. road traveler and a lover of the outdoors.
On the Scotian side of the Bay of Fundy, the Cliffs of Fundy was named a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2020. The geopark covers 165 km (102 miles) of scenic shoreline and includes approximately 40 designated sites.
2020 was the year of the recognition of geoparks in the Atlantic. A second geopark, Discovery Global Geopark on the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland, also obtained UNESCO Global Geopark status in 2020. To discover, 600 million year old fossils, spectacular rock formations and a traditional culture of root cellars.