Tourism

How is tourism developing in Whistler this summer?

Room bookings per night for June are 10% less than in 2019, but staffing problems remain

The outlook for Whistler’s tourism sector is heading in the right direction this summer after coming out of the pandemic, but many of the problems that have persisted over the past two years persist, local leaders warn.

With COVID-19 restrictions eased and barriers to international travel open, Whistler is poised to get through what should be the busiest summer since 2019. percent less than in the same period of 2019. TW President and CEO Barrett Fisher also noted that May and June numbers “were upbeat” thanks in part to conferences and group bookings, many of which are left over from 2020 and 2021.

“It’s very good in terms of a balanced visit,” Fischer said. “Because for us, it’s not only how we balance visits throughout the year by increasing the fall and spring shoulder months, but also how we look at how we shift visits from peak weekends in the summer to encourage visitation. in the middle of the week.”

As for the expected lineup of visitors this summer, Fisher said TW expects high volumes in the provincial and national markets, while Whistler will likely have to wait some more time to see a full return to pre-pandemic form in some of its historic international markets.

“When we looked at winter traffic last winter, especially in the UK which is a fairly resilient market, we saw that our UK visitors were pretty close to what we would see in a normal year, but then other international markets like Australia , Mexico, Germany and whatnot, they will most likely see a stronger comeback by next winter 2022-2023,” Fischer explained.

The local business community is also gearing up for a busy summer, and with more confidence ahead of the season than in the past two years, Whistler Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Diana Chan said businesses were better prepared for what should be a resurgence. sales and personnel.

“The objectives have not changed. There is a balance of comfort for the business community and the ability to plan,” she said. “I think we have a better understanding of how much volume we’re going to get this summer, and in order to serve that volume, what the level of staff needs to be, so that we can focus as best we can on finding the right people.”

Always a constant problem at the local level, staffing remains a challenge ahead of the season, though Ottawa is devoting more resources to handling the backlog of immigration and temporary foreign workers, which has helped a bit. However, this year one problem has been added – this is the tightening of the historical period of Whistler’s shoulder.

“Before, we had a bit more lull before the start of the season, when people could take a vacation and get some rest. I can not hear…

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