CTC News

July 2012: the essential facts and figures on travel to Canada.

International visitor numbers came tumbling down, despite growth in the Australia, China and Mexico markets, reports CTC Tourism Snapshot.

10 October 2012

Beware the Ides of…July: although 2.5 million international visitors came to Canada, that total was 4% down on July 2011. Only the Australia, China and Mexico markets could hold their heads up high and post growth, according to the latest Tourism Snapshot published by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’sResearch department.

Here are some more key findings:

  • The enthusiasm of Chinese travellers for Canada maintained its full head of steam, with a 24% climb in overnight visitor numbers.
  • The picture was gloomier in other CTC’s Asian markets, with Japan (-0.2%), India (-0.7%) and South Korea (-11%) all getting the travel yips.
  • Europe had a case of the blues, too. Overnight arrivals took a tumble from France (-2%), Germany (-2%) and the UK (-9%) markets; the UK total was that market’s lowest in July since 1990.
  • It’s all smiles still in Mexico, with 11% more consumers coming to Canada in July 2012.
  • The Aussie market kept the faith, too, registering a 15% surge in overnight trips eastwards over the Pacific in July 2012.
  • TheUS market slammed on the brakes in July 2012, with 5% fewer of our American cousins venturing north for an overnight visit. This was largely driven by an 8% slowdown in auto travel.
  • However, the year-to-date results are still on the up, with 6.7 million American visits in the first seven months of 2012, up 2% on 2011.
  • Ker-ching! Visitors from CTC’s key international markets spent almost $1.4 billion in the first three months of 2012, a 5% boost to Canada’s coffers.
  • Although total travel spending by Americans grew 4% to reach $831 million in Q1 2012, the average spending per trip by the meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT) sector dropped 8% to $775.
  • Brazilians remain the biggest spenders per trip, averaging $1,987, but the Aussies are hot on their heels with an average spend of $1,975.
  • There was no mistaking the summer vacation season, with Canadians taking 3.2 million trips abroad, a 6% bump on July 2011.
  • Canadians felt more certain over the future in July 2012. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, edged up 2.9 points to 76.9.
  • Americans are looking positive, too. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index bustled it way to 65.9, up 3.2 points on June 2012.  

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to July 31, 2012, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot –July 2012 in full.


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Hi Sheri - Have a look through the rules + regs on the Canada Revenue Agency site. This should help establish whether you can.


best, Mat

I heard I can request a refund of taxes paid on my motel rooms while in Canada this last month. Any ideas where to apply for this refund? Sheri Sutton

curious, the Chinese are visiting to such a large extent and yet they are not spending money here? Coupled with the story yesterday of the Chinese ex-secret-service now-telecom-giant being welcomed to host their research lab in Markam despite the protests of the US and of our own ex-head of CSIS, gee, I'm not sure what to make of the relation in these two stats ...