Characteristics of international travellers

Travel into Canada from both the United States and overseas countries fell in the fourth quarter of 2008, as the global economic downturn took hold.

The number of overnight trips from the United States dropped to 2.2 million, a 5.9% decline from the fourth quarter of 2007. This was the lowest level recorded since 1996. There were sharp declines in American travel for both business purposes and pleasure.

Overnight travel from countries other than the United States fell for the first time in the fourth quarter since 2003. Overseas visitors made just over 792,000 overnight trips to Canada, down 3.4%. In the opposite direction, Canadians made fewer overnight trips to the United States in the fourth quarter. However, Canadians made more overnight trips to countries other than the United States during the quarter.

Fewer Americans coming to Canada
American travellers spent about $1.1 billion in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2008, down 1.8% from the same quarter in 2007.

Overseas travel declined
The decline in overseas trips to Canada was largely attributable to a decrease in pleasure trips, which fell by 12.0% from the fourth quarter of 2007. The number of business trips was up 3.8%.

Overseas tourists spent $1.0 billion on overnight travel in Canada, down 6.1% from the fourth quarter of 2007.

Canadians decrease travel to United States
Canadians took just under 3.8 million overnight trips to the United States in the fourth quarter of 2008, down 9.6% from the same quarter a year earlier.

Canadians continue to travel overseas
Canadians took 1.7 million overnight trips to countries other than the United States in the fourth quarter of 2008, up 9.1% from the same quarter of 2007. This was a continuation of an upward trend that started in 2001. Canadians spent $2.4 billion on these trips, up 3.4%.

Annual 2008
On an annual basis, the number of overnight trips from the United States to Canada declined by 6.6% from 2007 to just under 12.5 million in 2008. On the other hand, travel from countries other than the United States was up 1.8%.

Canadians visited Mexico more often than any other overseas country in 2008. The number of overnight visits to Mexico rose 10.7% to 1.1 million. Overnight travel to the second most popular overseas market, the United Kingdom, was up 7.5%.

You can find more details at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/090528/dq090528c-eng.htm

For further information or to schedule interviews with a Statistics Canada Analyst regarding this release please contact: Jey Dharmaraj, at: (416) 954-5976 or jey.dharmaraj@statcan.ca .

 

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