Bringing The Economy Back – Travel, Tourism, Culture and Sports

Our team had a recent discussion with representatives from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.    According to statistics Canada, in 2019 the tourism, cultural and heritage sectors alone contributed a stunning $43.7 billion or 4.9% of the Ontario economy.  More significantly this sector support over 550,000 jobs.

In 2019, 147 million people from Ontarian, across Canada and internationally visited Ontario’s attractions.  In total that year, they spent $29.4 billion on restaurants, hotels, attractions and retailer in the province.  The culture and heritage sector, alone contributed $24.0 billion to the economy in 2019 and supported 282,000 jobs

No other sector has been more hit harder by COVID-19 than this part of the Canadian economy: closed borders, waves of COVID-19 spikes restricting the sector with no public events since March 2020 have had a devastating tole on this important part of the economy.

So, what is the pathway to growth once we have enough Canadians vaccinated and can begin to fully reopen this important part of the economy.    Our two rounds of research conducted last year shed light of the propensity for multicultural Canadians to “re-engage” with activities and services post Covid-19.  Our first round of research was conducted in April 2020, with 900 Canadian surveyed, our second round was conducted in October 2020 with 1,200 multicultural Canadians surveyed.   Here are highlights from two surveys.

Dining and Shopping

Dining and Shopping

Overall only 50% of multicultural Canadians are prepared to return to pre-Covid-19 levels of eating out once the pandemic is behind us.   While some of the ethnic communities over index relative to the general population (South Asian and Arabic) most were below.

Similar patterns were seen with shopping (in malls), attending movies and religious services, across the board multicultural Canadians are anxious attending these types of activates after the pandemic is behind us.   A notable exception was the South Asian community who appear on average to be more willing, across the board, to engage in such activities.

Community Activities
When we looked at other activities, the ethnic Canadians demonstrated a significantly larger opportunity post COVID-19. In all of the following activities including:

  • attending community events,
  • festivals,
  • business conferences,
  • sporting and
  • live events

the South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino and Arabic communities could well lead the way back.

As it relates to playing sports, going to the gym and exercising in general again the South Asian, Chinese and Black Canadian are more likely to participate than the general population.  When asked about travelling the ethnic Canadian are more willing to travel within their province, within Canada and even more so to the US and internationally vs the general population.  Thus, the travel business opportunity has the potential to be led by the ethnic consumer.

Looking forward to the post-Covid-19 recovery the future has some looks bright when considering the opportunity represented by the Multicultural consumer.

Interested in learning more about the multicultural consumer and how CulturaliQ delivers the insights and nuances to its clients that are required to build effective and sustainable marketing strategies?  Book a strategy call by emailing

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