CTC News

July 2013: did the numbers add up for Canada travel?

A surge in American visitors helped the total number of international travellers to Canada climb 2%, says latest CTC Tourism Snapshot.

03 October 2013

Is there a better place to be in summer than Canada? Certainly not for the 2.5 million international visitors who came here in July 2013, a 2% increase on the previous year, reports the freshly minted Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department.

Some other key stats:

  • The US market took wing in July 2013: just under 1.9 million Americans crossed the border into Canada, a 2% overall gain propelled by a 10% rise in air arrivals.
  • Our cousins below the 49th parallel have a taste for Canada, taking 6.8 million trips in the first seven months of 2013, up 1% on last year.
  • The Brits are all right (again): after months of doom and gloom, the UK market posted a 6% increase in consumers crossing the Atlantic to Canada in July 2013.
  • That uptick in fortunes did not translate to CTC’s other European markets, with France (-3%) and Germany (-1%) both registering declines in visitor numbers compared with July 2012.
  • Consumer demand in the China market withstood the ongoing labour disruption at Canadian overseas visa offices, notching a 16% year-on-year surge in Chinese travellers.
  • The labour disruption did trouble other markets in July 2013, with Mexico (-3%), Brazil (-3%)and India (-1%) all seeing dips in visitor numbers.
  • South Korea maintained its upward momentum in July 2013, posting a 3% year-on-year gain.
  • Outside CTC’s key international markets, arrivals tumbled down in July 2013 from Spain (-20%), the Netherlands (-9%), Italy (-7%) and Switzerland (-6%), but rose from Taiwan (19%) and Hong Kong (12%).
  • Canadians felt the tug of home, sweet home in July 2013, with outbound travel dropping 2% on the previous year to 3.1 million trips.
  • Despite that decline, overall Canadian outbound travel rose 2% in the first seven months of 2013, totalling more than 19.5 million trips.
  • Despite optimism around future job creation, the Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, slipped down 0.9 points to 82.6.
  • Americans were also on the edge of their seats in July 2013. The Conference BoardConsumer Confidence Index lost 1.8 points, sliding to 80.3.

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to July 31, 2013, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot –July 2013 in full.


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When you look at the figures (above right) it still baffles me why the CTC walked away from the US FIT market so they could concentrate on the Chinese, Indian and Korean markets. A 2% increase in the US market accounts for more travellers from all of those markets combined. There are millions of people in our back yard who have never been north of the 49th and millions who are within a few hours drive! What ever happened to the adage, "If you strike oil in Edmonton, why dig in Calgary"?