Canada received a record 22.1 million international tourists from abroad in 2019, surpassing the previous year's record of 21.1 million

It was a record year for Canada’s tourism industry in 2019.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that Canada received a record 22.1 million international tourists from abroad in 2019, surpassing the previous year’s record of 21.1 million. 

“This marked the sixth consecutive year of increased tourist arrivals to Canada, with growth in tourist arrivals from both the United States and overseas,” said the report.

“Strong economies in the major source countries of travellers to Canada, greater flight capacity and easing visa requirements contributed to increased travel to Canada.”

It said the number of tourists from overseas countries (countries other than the United States) rose to 7.1 million arrivals (+454,000) in 2019, while the number of US tourists to Canada rose to 15.0 million (+554,000).

“The summer months—June through September—were the peak months for tourism arrivals from overseas to Canada, representing 51.9 per cent of all arrivals from overseas during 2019. By comparison, the peak months for tourism arrivals from the United States were May to October, with 68.8 per cent of all US tourist arrivals to Canada,” said the federal agency.

“With 679,000 overnight air arrivals to Canada, the United Kingdom remained the largest source country for overseas tourists, but was down 0.8 per cent from 2018. This was the third consecutive year-over-year decline in air arrivals from the United Kingdom since 2016, coinciding with the rise of uncertainty around the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.”

The report said the number of US tourists to Canada increased 3.8 per cent since 2018, reaching 15.0 million. This was the sixth consecutive year of growth since 2014 and the highest level since 2004. The number of US tourists to Canada remained below the peak of 16.2 million in 2002.

“In 2019, tourists from the United States represented over two-thirds of all international tourist arrivals to Canada. This share, however, continued to decline because the number of tourists from overseas countries has grown at a faster pace. Since 2000, the share of tourists coming to Canada from overseas countries has risen from 22.6 per cent to 32.3 per cent, while the share of those from the United States has fallen from 77.4 per cent to 67.7 per cent,” explained StatsCan.

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

© Calgary’s Business


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