CTC News

March 2013: the who, what, where, when and how of Canada travel.

A resurgent American market propelled substantial growth in overnight international visitors to Canada, says CTC Tourism Snapshot.

30 May 2013

Canada had a spring in its step in March 2013. Approximately 920,000 international visitors came to sample the rich experiences this country has to offer, a 9% year-on-year increase, reports the recently published Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department.

Some of the key figures:

  • Canada was flavour of the month for American travellers in March 2013, who made 666,000 hops over the 49th parallel. This 10% year-on-year increase was largely fuelled by a 15% acceleration in auto arrivals.
  • Overall, US consumers made 1.7 million overnight trips to Canada in Q1 2013, up 4%.
  • Elsewhere in the Americas, March 2013 proved magnificent for the Mexico and Brazil markets, which charted 25% and 8% leaps respectively in visitor numbers to Canada.
  • Allez les bleus! The France market awoke from its winter slumber to register a 13% rise in travellers heading west over the Atlantic to Canada.
  • No champagne moments for CTC’s other two European markets, with Germany (-7%) and the UK (-3%) still in the doldrums.
  • Despite a relatively quiet March (a 2% rise in travellers to Canada), the Australia market can proudly point to 7% year-on-year growth for Q1 2013.
  • The China market maintained its leadership position in Asia in March 2013, with 15% more consumers packing their bags for Canada.
  • Fortunes rose for CTC’s other Asian markets, too, with Japan (4%) and South Korea (1%) both looking good. Only India, which is beset by a lack of direct air capacity to Canada, saw a decline(-7%).
  • Canadians flocked to the borders in March 2013, taking 3.5 million trips (+7%). Of that exodus, Canadians took 2.3 million overnighters to the US, a hefty 11% rise on 2012.
  • The Canadian dollar appreciated during Q1 2013 against the pound and yen, making Canada a more expensive destination for British and Japanese travellers. On the flip side, the dollar weakened in the US, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, China and India, helping travellers from those markets get more bangs for their bucks.
  • It was steady as she goes for the good ship of Canadian confidence. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, remained stable, slipping a mere 0.4 points to 80.5.
  • It all went topsy-turvy again in the US. The Conference BoardConsumer Confidence Index sunk 8.3 points in March 2013 to 59.7.

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

Read the Tourism Snapshot –March 2013 in full.

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