CTC News

Canada tourism in 2010: the essential facts and figures.

CTC’s Tourism Snapshot 2010 Year-in-review puts the data from our key international markets into focus.

29 June 2011

So that was 2010. The year started in golden hues for Canada in Vancouver, BC, with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Elsewhere, the global recession still had its tentacles in many travel markets, making recovery a sluggish and fragile process. Yet 2010 ended with increasing signs of optimism for the tourism industry in the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s key international markets .

Want more? Then head for the Tourism Snapshot 2010 Year-in-review, just released by CTC’s Research department, where you can dig into this—and much more—vital reading for travel-industry and media folk alike. 

  • International travellers got their taste back for Canada: they made 15.9 million trips, up 2% on ’09.

  • The year ended on a high note: total overnight inbound travel to Canada grew 3% in the last two quarters of ’10 after declines in the first half of the year.

  • Overnight visitors put their wallets where their passports were by dropping $11.9 billion into Canadian coffers in 2010, up 3% on the previous year. Their average spend per trip also climbed 2% to $750.

  • Total tourism gross domestic product (GDP) hit $29.7 billion in 2010, equal to 2% of the overall national GDP.

  • Canadians set their sights on distant horizons last year: they made almost 29 million trips, a 10% spike on ’09. Seven out of 10 of those trips were to the US.

  • US leisure travel remains Canada’s largest inbound travel market, accounting for 63% of visitors to our country in 2010.

  • The US meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT) market looked more robust last year: spending by these travellers climbed 3% to reach $1.4 billion, with an average spend per trip of $815.

  • The Mexico market closed 2010 looking much more positive: overnight arrivals to Canada had a 26% year-on-year surge in the fourth quarter.

  • The UK, CTC’s largest overseas international market, had a troubling year. Low employment and consumer confidence as well as a depreciating pound kept travel intentions down in 2010. This resulted in a 4% drop in visitor numbers to Canada.

  • In contrast, the Germany market enjoyed both strong gains in GDP growth (up 4%) and in numbers of travellers crossing the Atlantic to Canada (up 8%).

  • Japanese travellers certainly had the Canada bit between their teeth: overnight arrivals from this market soared 20% in 2010, while total spending by these travellers hit $330 million, a 22% year-on-year gain.

  • Chinese overnight travellers dug deep, too: they spent $317 million while in Canada last year, up 22% on ’09.

  • Top honours to Brazil: this travel market reported the highest increases in overnight trip arrivals (26%) and spending (32%) among CTC’s key markets. 

Read the Tourism Snapshot 2010 Year-in-review in full.


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