The Numbers Look Promising for Central Counties Tourism (RTO6) with Consistent Travel

Key Takeaways:

  • As restrictions ease, there is good opportunity to extend overnight visitation in the region
  • Weekly Overnight Visits in Ontario are trending up
  • RTO6’s overnight visitation is more consistent than the rest of Ontario
  • RTO6 has the potential to rebound sooner than the Ontario average.

As the summer season is around the corner, and over 60% of Ontarians have received at least their first vaccine, overnight visitation in RTO6 has been steadily growing since May. RTO6 has been measuring weekly overnight visitation and will share the data with you to display the flow of overnight visitors into the region. We are hoping that this recent positive trend for our region will continue and that we can get back to normal ASAP. Please note: due to limitations of the data, only overnight visitation is measured.

During the week of May 17th, 2021, Ontario had its highest overnight visitation of the year. It was that same week that our region started four consecutive weeks of its highest overnight visitation for 2021 (May 17 – June 13, the latest data at the time of publishing). Despite the major dip on the week of April 26th for Ontario, our region has been keeping steady.

Weekly distribution of overnight visitation: For consistency, we are using the week of May 17th 2021 as the baseline for both Ontario and RTO6 to compare how the other weeks performed by percentages. For example, RTO6’s visitation for the weeks of May 24th and 31st were 106.87% and 100.3% of the baseline data, indicating further growth. When using the baseline to compare the weekly year-to-date data, RTO6’s overnight visitation has been pretty consistent with an average of 85%. This means that in 2021, the average difference of weekly overnight visitation has been 15% lower than the baseline. Overall, the distribution indicates that our visitors are steadily coming in 2021 and spending the night in the region.

Though the number of overnight visits to our region in 2021 accounts for only 7% of Ontario’s overnight visitors, Ontario’s average weekly distribution was 62% (23% lower than RTO 6’s average), indicating its YTD overnight visitation fluctuated much more in the province than it did for RTO 6 over the same period.


The chart above displays this weekly % distribution year-to-date using the Ontario’s highest week as the baseline (May 17, 2021).

Weekly Trends: The weekly number of overnight visits to RTO6 for 2019 and 2020 mimics a similar trend, despite the 40% lower average in visitation due to COVID-19 (first State of Emergency Mar 17, 2020). In 2019, late July to Mid-September, October, and Christmas week have been the busiest weeks in the past. In 2020, only July to Mid-September saw a peak in consistent visitation. It is too early to predict a trend for 2021 due to Ontario’s two State of Emergencies in 2021 (Jan 14 and Apr 8), but May and June have been promising.

The charts below show the weekly trend in overnight visitation to RTO 6 and Ontario:

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The tables and charts below display weekly overnight visitation from January 7th, 2019 – June 13th, 2021 for both our region and Ontario.

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Central Counties is located North of Toronto


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Chuck Thibeault

Executive Director, Chuck Thibeault