CTC News

April 2012: which international travel markets blew hot and cold for Canada?

China and India flew the biggest flags for growth in visitors to Canada from CTC’s key international markets, reports latest CTC Tourism Snapshot.

02 July 2012

The April Fool’s jokes were on the tourism naysayers in April 2012. Almost a million (give or take a thousand) international visitors made their way to Canada in April 2012, says the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s fresh-out-of-the-cellophane Tourism Snapshot by CTC’s Research department.

Cast your eyes over some more data:

  • There’s plenty of life in the US market, with the number of overnighters to Canada climbing 3% in April 2012. Plane travel (8%) and other modes of transport (15%) provided the means.
  • The year-to-date stats put even more meat on this growing trend, with 5% more Americans (2.3 million) coming to Canada in the first four months of 2012.
  • France (up 3%) struck the only upbeat note in CTC’s European markets, with both Germany (-5%) and the UK (-12%) seeing declines in April.
  • However, year-to-date the figures from Germany are more encouraging, showing a 12% rise in consumers crossing the Atlantic to Canada.
  • It was a mixed picture in Asia. The China (26%) and India (25%) markets strutted their stuff in April, but Japan (-3%) and South Korea (-19%) suffered declines in visitor numbers.
  • After such a long hot streak, consumer arrival numbers from the Mexico market cooled slightly in April, dipping 5% on April 2011.
  • US visitors unfurled their wallets to spend $1.1 billion in Canada in Q4 2011, a 3% rise. This was largely driven by leisure-traveller spending, which grew 4%.
  • The highest average spend per trip by Americans, $754, came from the meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT) sector, putting in the shade the $465 average spend per trip of leisure travellers.
  • UK travellers were the most happy-go-lucky overseas visitors with their money in Q4 2011 ($131 million), with China ($99m), France ($81m) and Australia ($78mw) completing the awesome foursome.
  • Shake those money-makers: Australians notched the highest average spend per trip in Q4 2011 at $2,170, with Chinese travellers not far behind at $1,944.
  • New month, same old story: Canadians can’t kick the international habit, taking three million trips in April, up 4% on the previous year.
  • Canadians were uneasy over future job prospects in April 2012, tipping the Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, to 75, down 4.5 points on March.
  • Americans kept a watching brief in April. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index barely moved the needle at 69.2, a 0.3-point dip on March.

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to April 30, 2012, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot – April 2012 in full.


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