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Amusement and recreation industry, 2022

Released: 2023-11-14

Amusement and recreation subsector continues recovery in 2022

In 2022, Canadians were once again able to enjoy a variety of activities that were off-limits earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses in the amusement and recreation subsector that were hit hard by pandemic-related closures and capacity restrictions were able to resume their usual operations for the majority of 2022. That year, the subsector's operating revenue grew significantly, up 35.5%. After two years of periodic lockdowns, demand for amusement and recreation-related activities was high, which drove some industries to exceed their pre-pandemic levels.

Amusement parks and arcades reach new heights

After a partial comeback in 2021, operating revenue of the amusement parks and arcades industry group rose 96.5% to $996.5 million in 2022. Operating expenses climbed at a slower rate, increasing by 65.0% to $826.4 million; this led to a profit margin of 17.1%. Amusement parks and arcades surpassed pre-pandemic operating revenues by 28.8%, due in part to pent-up demand following two years of physical distancing and other restrictions.

Golf remains popular

After years of weak growth, golf courses and country clubs gained popularity during the pandemic. Despite more recreational activities being available in 2022, operating revenue for golf courses and country clubs grew 9.5% to $3.5 billion. Operating expenses increased at a slightly faster rate, up 14.0% to $3.1 billion. The profit margin dropped to 10.6% from the previous year's high of 14.1%.

Fitness and recreational sports centres begin recovering

Businesses in the fitness and recreational sports centres industry, such as gyms, were heavily impacted by pandemic-related closures. Even with businesses' efforts to keep operating safely during the pandemic, such as offering virtual or outdoor fitness classes, this industry's operating revenue fell 31.8% from 2019 to 2021. In 2022, fitness and recreational sports centres were able to resume normal operations for most of the year. Operating revenue increased by 38.6% to $4.3 billion, and operating expenses grew 32.8% to $4.1 billion. This led to a profit margin of 3.4%. Despite this rebound, operating revenue was 5.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

End of restrictions lifts ski industry

Though the 2021/2022 ski season had a slow start related to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in late 2021, skiing facilities almost fully recovered in 2022. Following the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, such as the removal of capacity limits, operating revenue of skiing facilities climbed 38.2% to $1.3 billion. Operating expenses increased by 21.7% to $1.0 billion. Thus, the profit margin rose to 19.4%.

Looking ahead to 2023

For the first time since 2019, businesses in the amusement and recreation subsector were able to operate for a full year without contending with closures or other restrictions in 2023. An increase in tourism and demand for recreational activities are expected to drive growth in this subsector. However, inflationary pressures on living expenses may influence the subsector, as Canadians may adjust their discretionary spending on leisure.

  Note to readers

Data from 2020 and 2021 have been revised.

This release covers all industries classified to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) subsector 713, amusement, gambling and recreation industries, with the exception of NAICS 7132, gambling industries.

These and other data related to the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors can be found in the Culture statistics portal.

The Arts and Culture Data Viewer, a new interactive tool that allows users to easily break down economic and social data from Statistics Canada on arts and culture by geographic area and other dimensions, is now available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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