Alarming consequences for the tourism industry

More than eight months after the onset of the health crisis, nearly a quarter of workers in the tourism industry in Quebec have still not found their jobs.

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During the lockdown last spring, 52% of workers in the industry were temporarily laid off. Of that number, 28% returned to work during the ensuing summer deconfinement, but 24% have still not been called back.

This is what reveals a survey by the Quebec Council of Human Resources in Tourism (CQRHT), carried out from September 3 to 27 with 3,022 respondents.

Urban areas like Quebec City, Montreal and Laval have been hit hardest. The summer deconfinement has not had “noticeable effects” and “the recovery will undoubtedly be much later”, we can read in the report.

Involuntary departures

Among workers who found a job in a sector other than tourism, 17% went to health care, 16% to retail and 14% to administrative services.

The Canada Emergency Benefit was the main source of income for 73% of unemployed workers over the summer.

More than half of claimants surveyed said their income was less than what they earned before COVID-19.

According to the CQRHT, it is important to prevent the industry from being destructured to the point of not being able to exploit its potential during recovery.

“That said, the recovery will not happen all at once. It will be done gradually. It is estimated that it could take three years before the industry can resume its pre-COVID policy, ”says Sylvie Baillargeon, project manager at CQRHT.

The investigation was conducted just before the return of containment measures last October.

“The situation is even more serious now than the one we observed during the investigation,” she added.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, tourism in Quebec will have lost more than 100,000 of its 400,000 jobs by the end of 2020. It also indicates that it will be necessary to wait until 2023 before all the jobs lost due to COVID-19 are recovered.

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