Tourism adds $1.4B to Ottawa’s GDP annually: study

NAC
The National Arts Centre on Elgin Street.

Ottawa Tourism is underscoring the value of the city’s tourism industry with a new economic impact study that reports an estimated $1.4 billion contribution to the capital’s GDP from the sector.

The local agency says the study, conducted by InterVISTAS Consulting, used 2016 numbers for its analysis rather than 2017 – which was an atypical year, given the influx of visitors for Canada 150 celebrations.

The report says the roughly 11 million annual visitors to Ottawa spend more than $2.2 billion each year in the city’s food, retail, transportation and other travel-related sectors. More than 30,000 people are employed full-time in these sectors, earning $1 billion in direct wages and salaries. When indirect and induced jobs connected to industry are included, the total number rises to 43,570.

Tourism-related sectors also generate some $755 million in taxes each year, paid out to all three levels of government.

“When visitors bring their out-of-town money into Ottawa, they are pumping dollars into our region's economy through their patronage of local businesses and services who rely on tourism, and through tax revenues that go toward community amenities and services that would otherwise be paid for solely by resident dollars,” said Michael Crockatt, Ottawa Tourism president and CEO, in a statement.

The report comes a week after the Conference Board of Canada projected a 2.4-per-cent jump in overnight visits in 2019, thanks largely to a growing interest from south of the border. The board expects the number of overnight visits to Ottawa to grow at an annual rate of at least 2.3 per cent until 2022.