Statement from Minister Streicker on tourism in the Yukon

Minister John Streicker has issued the following statement:

“During Canada’s National Tourism Week, I am pleased to provide Yukoners with a snapshot of the Yukon’s tourism sector and the Government of Yukon’s work toward recovery after the devastating effects of the pandemic.

“Tourism is an important industry in the Yukon, contributing an average of $284 million annually to our economy. It provides sustainable, diversified employment and growth that balances economic development with environmental, community, and cultural values.

“From 2017–19, the Yukon was the only Canadian province or territory with three consecutive record years in visitation, and was on track for a fourth in 2020, if not for the pandemic.

“Today, I am excited to report that as 2023 visitor statistics show, the Yukon tourism sector is exhibiting an impressive recovery. International border crossings and occupancy rates were only 3 and 0.2 per cent lower, respectively, than pre-pandemic records; and we saw double and triple-digit increases across many other metrics. For example, air arrivals at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport were up 20 per cent and International border crossings into the Yukon were up 30 per cent in October, November and December 2023.

“The Yukon tourism is rebounding strongly, and I am confident that 2024 will continue this trend. The Government of Yukon continues to work in a variety of ways to create the conditions for that return to form. These include our investments in visitor services, destination development and marketing. To meet the growing digital demands of visitors, the Department of Tourism and Culture is transitioning to a more 'beyond the building' approach for our Visitor Information Centres with the installation of six digital kiosks throughout the territory and another in Skagway, Alaska. The kiosks have already logged more than 25,000 interactions since May 2023.

“Our destination promotion program continues to receive industry accolades, including a Clio Award for the Yukon It’s a Little Bit Metal campaign, and high-profile nominations for our Northern Lights in Colour and Different World in Canada campaigns.

“We are also extremely proud of the Community Tourism Destination Development Fund (CTDDF), which supports the development of new infrastructure and tourism experiences. Earlier this spring we introduced the new Spark Tourism Micro-grant program to support new and emerging entrepreneurs offering visitor experiences and services. This work is critical as we enhance capacity and seek to innovate and expand what the Yukon has to offer.

“Tourism can also contribute meaningfully to reconciliation, language preservation, and cultural revitalization. We are a proud partner with the Yukon First Nation Culture & Tourism Association to promote the Walk With Us respectful travel guide, and ensure every visitor to the Yukon is exposed to its values and messages at some point during their Yukon stay. In 2023–24, the Government of Yukon delivered over $50,000 in start-up funding to support 12 new and emerging Indigenous tourism products and experiences.  

“Together with our six Tourism Association Partners – the Klondike Visitors Association, the Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon, the Yukon Convention Bureau, the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, the Yukon Historical and Museums Association, and the Yukon Outfitters Association – we continue to ensure that resources and expertise are shared between organizations to provide the best support possible to Yukon's tourism industry on its road back to full strength.

“Thank you to all the passionate, committed and enthusiastic individuals who champion our territory and showcase the natural beauty and cultural abundance of our home. The Government of Yukon truly appreciates the tourism sector’s contribution to building thriving communities, and a prosperous territory, and looks forward to the successes ahead.”

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications

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