The first Canadian Day with no COVID-19 restrictions turned out to be the biggest event in Kelowna, British Columbia. Seen over the years, it is driving the outlook for the tourism industry.
"For all reasons, I think this was a great start to the tourist season. Probably the busiest summer I've ever seen," said Kelowna Mayor Colin. Baslan says.
"I think the message to our city visitors is that we want you here, have fun, but act accordingly."
Canada Statistics Statistics Canada reports that Canada's tourism industry's GDP has declined by nearly 50% in 2020. Now, with the unrestricted summer ahead, tourist attractions are already busy, and Canada Day was proof of that.
Read more:Great start to Kelowna's tourist season
"We started with a jump. We usually had a waiting time of 30 [minutes] to 2 hours throughout the day," said Jared Lee Central Kitchen + Bar Co-Owner. "But it's stable and people are coming out. It's great to see people having fun."
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Kelowna's Smile Cycle Tour provided a way to roam the city and visit all of your favorite restaurants, with similar trends.
"We were touring a lot more. We continued all day yesterday. We all love being here and we love the COVID restrictions being lifted. So it's very exciting, "says Sonja. Ruevekamp, Smile Cycle Tour Guide.
Ruevekamp added that many people on Friday's tour came from all over Canada, and she sees it more as the summer progresses.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of foreign visitors has already increased this year. Nearly 800,000 Americans visited Canada in April of this year. This is eight times that of April 2021.