Before the Covid-19 Pandemic, Canada’s Tourism Industry accounted for $105 billion in total economic activity and 1.8 million jobs, half of which were held by people under the age of 35.
Tourism is a dynamic and vastly diverse industry, comprised of innovative travel, hospitality, accommodations, as well as various cultural and recreational businesses in every region of the country, including the Grand Erie region.
While the past year has placed a heavy toll on tourism, the support of local patrons has provided opportunities to kick-start recovery. In 2020, there were 13,666 jobs in the tourism industry in Grand Erie (13% decline from 2019) with Brantford employing the largest number of tourism positions (6,500) followed by Norfolk (3,602) and Haldimand Counties (1,795). (Source: EMSI Analyst)
Between December 2019 and December 2020, the local tourism sector lost 18 businesses. The total number of tourism businesses in Grand Erie as of December 2020 is 2851, of which 1297 have employees. Notably, 1,245 tourism businesses in the region employ 5-99 people and 14 employ 100-199. (Source: EMSI Analyst)
Some of the top tourism businesses in the region include personal care services and recreation businesses.
Completion of training for the tourism industry has been on the rise in our region in the recent past. In 2018, 222 people completed hospitality administration and management programs in Grand Erie, which is up from 108 in 2016. (Source: EMSI Analyst)
Over the course of the pandemic, tourism operators have worked to implement high standards of health and safety protocols and have often dedicated much time and resources on adapting premises, training staff and changing processes to ensure a safe and welcoming environment when they are given the go-ahead to reopen.
While there are currently still restrictions in place, there are great destinations, attractions and local businesses across Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk to keep in mind for when measures are lifted. Below are some highlights of our region’s tourism destinations that you can plan now, to explore later.
Visiting Haldimand County is a rural retreat with plentiful fishing opportunities and an abundance of cycling and hiking trails. In Haldimand County’s towns and hamlets, there is an atmosphere of small-town charm, with unique attractions, quaint shops, cultural and historic sites, and a range of accommodations and restaurants.
Six Nations of the Grand River
Located alongside the picturesque waters of the Grand River, Six Nations is a community everyone should experience. Visitors can explore its unique history, culture, events, attractions, businesses and a variety of experiences unmatched by any other community throughout the nation.
Norfolk County’s wineries, breweries and farm markets highlight Norfolk County’s status as Ontario’s Garden. Some of its popular destinations are the towns along Lake Erie, with warm sandy beaches in Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. Back roads provide scenic cycling routes and attractions include live theatre, boat cruises, tasty food in port towns. Abundant outdoor adventures include eco tourism, fishing, birding, star-gazing, and camping.
County of Brant
“Rich In Culture, Adventurous In Nature” – from paddling the Grand River to exploring parks and trails and visiting beautiful and vibrant small towns, the County of Brant has tons of charm to offer local residents and visitors once it is ready to reopen and welcome explorers.
In Brantford, you can explore world-class entertainment options, shop at unique boutiques, taste your way through the city, and brush up on your local history at one of the city’s many museums and galleries.
While COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on the tourism sector in our region, Grand Erie Jobs data indicates that many businesses within this sector are continuing to hire for top tourism positions, including retail salespersons, cashiers, store shelf stockers, retail sales supervisors and retail and wholesale trade managers.