(Fredericton) Tourism in New Brunswick is approaching pre-pandemic levels, but the province’s car rental industry has a long way to go.

A new study from Statistics Canada indicates that tourism activity in the province recovered quickly last year, but was still 20% lower than in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

High rental car prices are among the factors the study said have affected the pace and extent of tourism recovery in the province.

According to Statistics Canada, while inflation has led to significant price increases for hotel rooms and restaurants, some of the province’s largest increases over the past two years have been in the hotel industry. car rental.

The study indicates that rental car prices increased by almost 50% last year compared to 2019.

She says the passenger car rental industry is struggling to replenish inventory as companies still struggle to buy new cars.

An earlier Statistics Canada study in British Columbia found that the province’s rental vehicle fleets depleted in the first year of the pandemic and have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.