CTC News

International visitor numbers to Canada stumble in August 2011.

China, Brazil and Mexico were the main bright lights in a tricky month, according to latest CTC Tourism Snapshot.

02 November 2011

The competition for consumer attention in the global tourism marketplace has never been tougher. In August 2011, 2.3 million international visitors headed to Canada, a 3% year-on-year decline, reports the latest Tourism Snapshot, just published by the Canadian Tourism Commission(CTC)’s Research department

Some other key facts and figures:

  • August ‘11 saw a 5% drop in Americans coming to Canada, largely fuelled by a 7% reduction in auto travel.
  • Overall arrivals from the US year-to-date to August ’11 have dipped 2% to 8.2 million overnighters.
  • In the first quarter of 2011, US visitor spending dropped 2% to $797 million. However, the average spend per trip rose 1% to $530 per trip.
  • A total of 11.3 million international visitors have passed through Canadian passport control from January to August ‘11, 2% down on the same period last year.
  • Nova Scotia (14%) and Quebec (2%) are the only two provinces chalking up overall international visitor growth in 2011.
  • High fives for the Mexico market: an 11% uptick in visitor numbers to Canada in August ‘11 was its fifth consecutive rise.
  • CTC’s European markets remain largely under a cloud: there were 7% dips in overnight arrivals from both Germany and the UK in August ‘11.  However, the France market offered a ray of sunshine with a 1% hop upwards in visitors crossing the Atlantic to Canada.
  • China was head and shoulders above CTC’s other key international markets, posting a 29% surge in visitors to Canada in August ‘11, the fifth month in a row of double-digit growth.
  • Brazil (10%) and Australia(1%) also kept their onwards-and-upwards momentum in August ‘11. Australian travel spending took a big leap in Q1 2011, surging up 21%.
  • Not such good news from the South Korea and Japan markets, with 17% and 9% declines in arrivals to Canada in August ‘11.
  • Canadians’ continue to broaden their travel horizons, taking 3.5 million trips outside our country in August ‘11, up 5% on last year.
  • Canadian consumer confidence lost its nerve in August ‘11, affected by anxiety over future job creation. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, dropped 6.6 points on the previous month to 74.7.
  • US belief fled for the hills. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index sank like a stone to 44.5, down 14.7 points on July ‘11.

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to Aug. 31, 2011, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot – August 2011 in full.


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