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People wait in line to check in at Toronto Pearson International Airport, on May 12.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

The World Travel and Tourism Council says the sector will come within sight of pre-pandemic levels of activity in Canada this year, but won’t match 2019 numbers until next year as bottled-up demand is uncorked across the globe.

The international trade group forecasts that travel and tourism’s economic output in Canada will reach $138-billion in 2022, 88 per cent of pre-pandemic figures.

That number is estimated to hit $157-billion in 2023, nearly on par with the $158.1-billion of 2019.

Council chief executive Julia Simpson says businesses can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the sector recovers from two years of border restrictions and nosediving demand.

The Canadian tourism industry lost 300,000 of its 1.7 million jobs in 2020 before recovering more than a third of them last year.

But the trade organization says employment levels are set to grow at only three per cent this year to 1.5 million jobs in total.

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