After a long and wet spring, many Saskatchewan residents are ready to get out of the house and see the province.
The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed May 29-June 4 as Saskatchewan Tourism Week.
“Tourism is a vital part of the Saskatchewan economy, and the industry has endured unprecedented challenges these past two years,” said Jeremy Harrison, the minister responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan.
“Saskatchewan Tourism Week will be an opportunity to showcase the remarkable travel experiences Saskatchewan offers.”
Among the many industries the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted, tourism is definitely one of them. But it is beginning to recover after the fallout in 2020.
In 2020, Saskatchewan had $1.50 billion in visitor spending and there was 50,000 people employed in tourism-related jobs that year.
But those numbers are beginning to grow again. In 2021, tourism expenditures grew to $1.74 billion in 2021, with 57,200 people employed in the tourism industry.
“I think a lot of people over the last couple summers have really discovered new experiences and destinations in the province,” said Amy McInnis, the executive director of marketing and communications for Tourism Saskatchewan.
“We are really hoping they continue to spend some of their travel dollars here and continue to explore new places and experiences in the province.”
And while things are looking better for Saskatchewan tourism, it will still take time to fully become what it used to be.
“We are not likely to see full recovery of the industry until 2024,” said McInnis
Throughout the week, Tourism Saskatchewan will release a series of videos on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. Themed “Cheer for Saskatchewan,” these stories showcase the province’s abundant tourism resources and bring attention to the people, businesses and experiences that make Saskatchewan an inviting destination.
Tourism Saskatchewan also launched the #ExploreSask Challenge for the second year in a row, which encourages residents to support local, plan road trips and explore the province.
“We have a new theme this year and it’s a mobile exclusive challenge,” said McInnis. “There’s no app to download, you just visit tourismsaskatchewan.com to sign up.”
Each month, those that participate will be entered in Saskatchewan vacation draws valued at $2,000 each, culminating in a Grey Cup Festival prize package.
“Along the way, people check in at different businesses, and that gives them entries into these draws,” said Mcinnis. “There’s over 40 locations in the province that are part of this ExploreSask challenge.”
The challenge will run throughout the Saskatchewan Roughriders season, ending on Oct. 15.
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