After Record Year, Canadian Tourism Still On The Upswing

Open Jaw, Bruce Parkinson

Canada’s 150thbirthday celebrations attracted a record 20.8 million international visitors in 2017. Judging by the first three months of the year, the momentum continues.

From January through March, international visitors grew by 10%, while U.S. arrivals were up 8.9%, for an overall gain of 9.2%.

Just-released Statistics Canada numbers for March show an overall increase of 15%, including 16.2% more visitors from the U.S. and 12.4% from other international source countries.

Among overseas markets, the U.K. finally showed positive growth for the first time this year, growing 9% over last March. China (+34.2%) and Mexico (+39.5%) are also continuing to break records for visitation. 

For the first time ever, China has moved into second position in terms of visitation to Canada during the first quarter of 2018. The Tourism Industry Association of Canada says this figure “is encouraging and a trend that we will continue to monitor as the year progresses.” 

Japan was one of the few countries to show a sharp decline in tourism to Canada, with March numbers down 15.5% year-over-year.

As TIAC puts it: “While we won’t begin getting tourism ‘high season’ numbers until later this summer, the industry is starting off in a very strong position!”

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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