Author: Tourism HR Canada

Now available until the end of June, the Destination Inclusion program continues to offer racialized individuals across Eastern Ontario the opportunity to explore new career pathways and gain the skills and connections to pursue their goals—all free of charge. Participants access online skills training and mentorship from tourism industry professionals, opening up job possibilities just as the summer tourist season is poised to take off.

Destination Inclusion Graduate Noeul Kang

Recent program graduate Noeul Kang offers this inspiring testimonial:

“I signed up for Destination Inclusion, and it changed my life. The e-learning materials had given me the proper knowledge related to my field to identify transferable skills for preparing myself for the Canadian labour market. I was not sure what to pursue since I moved to Canada. This program certainly gave me the right tools to navigate my career path and connections with people in the field that I’m interested in. The mentorship program has been beneficial to reshape my resume and cover letter and sharpen my interview skills. I appreciate all Destination Inclusion team members. Thank you so much again!”

The Destination Inclusion team hosts a series of virtual info sessions to anyone interested in learning more. The next events will be held:

  • Friday, April 22, at 11:00 AM Eastern
  • Wednesday, April 27, at 10:00 AM Eastern
  • Monday, May 2, at 2:00 PM Eastern

Click here to register for any of these sessions.

Tourism HR Canada thanks Destination Inclusion delivery partners World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).

This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Canadian Tourism Monthly Snapshot

Tourism added 188,700 jobs, unemployment rates fall but an overall labour force shortage remains

While declines in the size of the overall tourism labour force persist, tourism employees continued to return to work and find available employment opportunities this past month.

Seasonally unadjusted data released for February 2022 shows that, at 1,856,800 workers, Canada’s tourism labour force still falls short of the 2,152,000 workers that made up the industry pre-pandemic this same month in 2020.

While the unemployment rate in the tourism sector was at 5.4%—which is 10.1 percentage points lower than the rate reported in Feb 2021 (15.5%), and lower than the previous month (January 2022) when the unemployment rate stood at 11.9%—tourism continues to face an unprecedented labour shortage as public health measures to stem the COVID-19 Omicron variant remained in place in many provinces during what is already a typically low period of economic activity for the industry.

At 5.4%, tourism’s unemployment rate was slightly below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.7%, but higher than before the holiday season when the tourism unemployment rate stood at 5.2% for December 2021.

All tourism industry groups have reported lower unemployment rates than the same month last year.

Tourism Unemployment Rates by Industry Feb. 2021 vs. Feb. 2022 (seasonally unadjusted)

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 4.0% in Alberta to 14.3% in Prince Edward Island.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for tourism in each province, with the exceptions of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Manitoba, were below the rates reported for the provincial economy.

Tourism Sector vs. Total Labour Force Unemployment Rates by Province (seasonally unadjusted)

Employment Numbers

Tourism employment comprised 9.1% of the total Canadian labour force for February 2022. Tourism employment increased by 188,700 (or 12%) from the previous month. Total employment now sits at 1,756,000 (up from 1,567,300 in January).

For the Canadian economy as a whole, seasonally unadjusted employment grew by 388,100.

The employment increases in both tourism and the broader economy were due to increases in part-time employment.  Part-time employment in the tourism industry increased by 131,000 (or 21.2%), while full-time employment increased by 57,600 (or 6.1%).

Month-over-Month Employment Change, Full- and Part-Time Employment (seasonally unadjusted)

Full-time employment change (x 1,000) Part-time employment change (x 1,000)
Tourism 57.6 131
Accommodations 0 9.6
Food and Beverage 25.2 58.6
Recreation and Entertainment 38.5 49.8
Transportation -1.8 11.1
Travel Services -4.2 2

Looking Toward Spring 2022

It is typical for seasonally unadjusted employment indicators to show signs of volatility in the winter months; however, the first two months of 2022 brought positive signs that employees are returning to tourism occupations.

As the industry gears up for warmer weather and as restrictions are eased by several provincial governments in March, more than ever, local demand is going to be an important success factor for the tourism sector this spring.

For a full look at the tourism labour market and economic indicators, visit the Tourism Employment Tracker.

SOURCE: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, customized tabulations. Based on data for the week ending March 1, 2022.


Tourism HR Canada is pleased to announce that Propel, its Student Work Placement Program, has been extended for an additional two years, thanks to generous funding from the Government of Canada. The program is actively accepting applications for the upcoming summer semester.

Launched last August, Propel has already connected hundreds of post-secondary students with meaningful, paid work-integrated learning placements and provided hard-hit tourism and hospitality employers with wage subsidies to support these placements.

With the lifting or easing of many pandemic health and travel measures, Canada’s tourism employers are looking ahead to a busier summer season, but are facing a depleted workforce. The latest Statistics Canada data shows close to 300,000 fewer tourism employees than in the month before the pandemic hit.

Propel provides a direct link to early talent looking for hands-on experience and the opportunity to explore career pathways in the sector. Engaging these students will play an essential role in the immediate recovery of the visitor economy and ensure the ongoing growth of a skilled workforce.

Starting April 1, 2022, several changes will apply to the full spectrum of Student Work Placement Programs.

  • Wage subsidies are available as follows:
    • Up to 50% of wages or up to $5,000 to provide students with meaningful WIL opportunities.
    • Up to 70% of wages or up to $7,000 to provide students with meaningful WIL opportunities for the following under-represented students: women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Indigenous students, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and newcomers; as well as first-year students.
  • Post-secondary institutions are no longer eligible to participate as employers.
  • Employers who have previously participated in the program may be subject to “net new” requirements and need to demonstrate a projected increase in the number of students hired.

For full details on the Propel Student Work Placement Program and a link to the application portal, please visit the program webpage or email

Globally, the tourism sector is facing a massive shortage of trained staff. How aware are travellers of this and how does this impact their travel choices?

Join Tourism HR Canada for an excusive webinar featuring tourism experts Twenty31 Consulting, who will delve into the recently released report Global Survey on Perspectives of Service Delivery and Traveller Priorities. The report, partially funded by the Government of Canada, details the results of a recent survey of 800 travel consumers in each of nine key global outbound travel markets for Canadian tourism: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, UK, and US.

Explore the delicate balance many tourism businesses are facing as they plan for reopening and recovery in 2022 and beyond: trying to provide safe, appropriately priced tourism experiences while also meeting the service expectations of travellers.

Register to learn more about:
• Global trends and impact of COVID-19
• Traveller influences
• Recent travel behaviour
• Travel ambitions
• Traveller perspectives on travel service issues post-COVID
• Perceptions and impact of service delivery in Canada vs. other destinations
• Impact of familiarity with service issues
• Country attitudinal profiles

The webinar will take place Thursday, April 7, at 11:00 AM Eastern. Click here to register.

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, continue to share how the program has impacted them.

Destination Inclusion graduate Shailesh Shrestha

Participant Shailesh Shrestha recently described how the program has played a key role in facilitating a career change in a new country:

“My professional background was in various forms of performing arts such as radio, theater, television, and film back in Nepal,” Shailesh stated.

Shailesh originally immigrated to New York City, where he started a completely new career in the service and hospitality industry. “I saw a job posting in the neighbourhood diner,” he explained. “I was not familiar with the terminology, but I dared to apply for the position as bus boy without any basic knowledge or experience. Fortunately, they offered me the job, and I started right away. That was the start to my open-ended career path in the service and hospitality industry. Since then, I have worked in five-star and diamond landmark hotels and upscale fine dining establishments managed and operated by celebrity chefs.”

He added, “I did not have any privileged economic and educational background, but I demonstrated the guts and determination to move forward and I ultimately accomplished what I deeply wanted to be. Being an immigrant, I strongly believe that we have that level of audacity, strength, and resilience because we know the true meaning of equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

After spending two decades in the United States, Shailesh and his family moved to Canada. “We came to this amazing, immigrant-friendly nation to explore the remaining achievable dreams and aspirations,” he said. “But we arrived when the pandemic was at its highest level and entire markets were closed. Despite my outstanding achievements and experience in the service and hospitality industry, I was not able to find any equivalent job with livable minimum wage.”

He started frequently participating in many training sessions, forums, and virtual job fairs. Shailesh connected with the Destination Inclusion program through the Canadian Immigrant job fair.

“I signed up for the mentorship program, which is amazingly useful to accelerate one’s career. As per a suggestion from my mentor, I enrolled myself in the online Hospitality Essentials Front Desk Agent course,” he shared. “After completing this, I was able to pursue the certification and am now equipped and emboldened with full enthusiasm and confidence. I never thought I would move from food and beverage to front desk. This opportunity and certification led to an open-ended path for a new career. After completing this online course, I have been looking for more opportunities to grab through Destination Inclusion and Tourism HR Canada. I strongly believe this organization has contributed so much to empower racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, women, and marginalized communities. As I promote through my social activism, we need more Destination Inclusion types of programming to make sure we are an equitable and just society and nation.”

Destination Inclusion graduates are open to employment opportunities to apply their skills in roles related to cooking, housekeeping, and front desk operations. For details, visit the program webpage or email

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, continue to share how the program has impacted them.

Participant Lydie Adegbindi recently described how the program has helped her explore a career that draws on her personal interests.

I was referred to the Destination Inclusion program by one of my mentors, and I did not hesitate to take the opportunity, especially because it empowers minority groups like me. Another reason for me is that the modules included Line Cook, as cooking has always been one of my passions in life.

The learning materials were well-organized and the training drew my attention to utilizing the right words or names for the kitchen utensils, equipment, and cooking processes.

From the information session, everything was very detailed and explicit. The participants were given all the necessary information before it commenced. The mentors took us through all the steps, from the application to the completion of the courses, and also provided a mentorship program for the different modules. Throughout the learning process, I was able to receive prompt feedback for technical problems that occurred.

My hope is that this could also open job opportunities as soon as possible for people among us who would like to make a career in these fields that we have been trained in.

If you’re interested in participating in this free program, click here to visit the Destination Inclusion webpage or click here to sign up for the next virtual information session, March 16 at 9:00 AM Eastern.

If you’re an employer interested in connecting with trained Destination Inclusion graduates, please email


HT Hospitality Training Logo

A strong supporter of Tourism HR Canada and its Emerit programming for over 20 years, HT Hospitality Training reinvented the approach to training and securing employment in Ottawa’s tourism workforce. What once started out as a line cook training program operating out of a home office has expanded to a SMART+ nationally accredited, multi-course offering for various frontline hospitality positions such as Front Desk Agent, Food and Beverage Server, and Housekeeping, to name a few, out of its modern downtown training facilities.

HT Hospitality Training CEO Norman McEvoy and Chief Administrator Louise Smith

HT’s fast-track training programs prepare people to become employment-ready in a matter of just weeks. Its diverse portfolio of students consists of newcomers seeking Canadian work experience, those looking for a career change, and those entering the workforce for the first time. Since its opening in 2001, over 3,000 graduates have completed HT training programs. With an employment rate of over 90% upon graduation, this translates to thousands of people becoming financially independent.

HT continues to evolve its course offerings to keep up with current and future labour demands. Students can now access HT courses through flexible online and in-person delivery methods in English and French. HT applies a holistic approach that goes far beyond teaching just the technical and soft skills required for the job. Instead, it also incorporates other essential elements to help students succeed in the classroom, at work, and in their personal lives. This includes connecting students to resources that can assist with mental health wellness and other social services that may be needed. Students also have access to a safe space on campus to interact in person and attend their virtual training program.

With businesses and consumers negatively impacted by today’s labour shortages (which are projected to get worse), now is the time to reintroduce the meaningful work HT does to help offset these predicaments. HT is committed to being the tourism recovery solution that both employers and displaced workers seek.

Stay tuned to find out what’s next for HT – new courses soon to be unveiled!

How Canadians do business has changed. To stay competitive and grow, small and medium-sized businesses need to adopt new digital tools.

Recently launched by the Government of Canada, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) can help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost or help digitalize your business’s operations. CDAP provides funding and support to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

The program offers two grant options:

The Grow your Business Online grant helps small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, by providing:

  • Access to a network of e-commerce advisors for advice and support
  • Up to $2,400 to buy new e-commerce tools

The Boost Your Business Technology grant helps small and medium-sized businesses adopt new digital technologies, by providing:

  • Free digital assessment tool to evaluate your own digital readiness
  • Up $15,000 to consult a digital expert and develop a digital adoption plan for your business
  • Up to $100,000 in interest-free loans from BDC to implement your digital adoption plan
  • Funded work placements for students or recent graduates who can help with digital transformation

Visit the Canada Digital Adoption Program website today!

Tourism’s workforce issues did not begin with the pandemic, but COVID has heightened and amplified the problem. The labour shortage is here to stay, and adapting to new circumstances must involve multiple strategies. There is a need for better utilization of tailored resources and supports, along with adapting business models and improving HR/human capital practices. The reality is that the sector is facing greater competition for workers than it did before, and it’s expected to get worse.

To assist employers in moving forward, Tourism HR Canada has created a new, free resource, Now Hiring: A Guide to Help Employers Attract and Retain Workers in a Post-Pandemic Environment.

The tools in this guide are intended to help tourism businesses get started on the path to recovery, with both short-term and long-term strategies to attract, retain, and grow a skilled workforce. Now Hiring covers a range of essential HR practices, tips to implement them, and practical checklists and forms to help tackle key issues.

Click here to download a copy of Now Hiring

Pan-Canadian Tourism Workforce Recovery & Growth Task Force

Tourism, at its core, is a people business and one that relies on a skilled workforce to capitalize on its economic potential for Canada.

Re-opening tourism businesses and guiding their recovery requires an all-of-sector approach.

A workforce recovery strategy will require flexibility, coordination, and resources to ensure it is responsive to urgent demands and is economically and socially viable over the long term. Fundamentally, the aim must strive for a cohesive strategy to address systemic and structural issues, improve on the sector’s resilience, and strengthen its capacity as a key economic driver.

Led by Tourism HR Canada, a new Pan-Canadian Tourism Workforce Recovery & Growth Task Force has begun discussing the development a framework for recovery that addresses short-term and long-term systemic and structural issues. Topics include:

  • Seeking new approaches that create a reliable supply of qualified workers
  • Optimizing workforce productivity through targeted and sustained workforce development initiatives
  • Tackling barriers to employment in the sector through policy reform
  • Recommending ways to improve human resource management practices and supports to enable employers better navigate new and emergent workforce issues
  • Advising on strategies to address reputational damage, to enable the industry to attract and retain workers more effectively

Minimally, the Task Force will explore six pillars as part of workforce recovery framework:

  1. Recovery programs and services for reskilling and upskilling
  2. Digitalization to enhance business resilience
  3. Comprehensive attraction and retention strategy
  4. Tools to help employers manage new HR demands
  5. Policy and advocacy efforts
  6. Continued workforce and labour market research to inform strategies

Watch for upcoming announcements on engagement opportunities. Expert advice and recommendations on how to help the tourism workforce recover and grow is needed from a broad range of stakeholders fully representative of the industry. Email or subscribe to Tourism HR Insider to receive the latest news and calls for participation.

Click here to learn more about the Pan-Canadian Tourism Workforce Recovery & Growth Task Force.