CTC News

March 2014: the stories behind the big data of travel to Canada.

A late Easter affected travel plans in many of Canada’s major international markets, reports latest CTC Tourism Snapshot.

05 June 2014

The stats don’t always tell the full story. International visitor numbers to Canada fell 11% to just over 822,000 in March 2014, primarily due to the Easter holiday period being a month later than in 2013. This affected travel plans for consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Mexico and Brazil, with corresponding data for April 2014 expected to show a parallel rise, according to the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department.

More facts and figures:

  • The China market continued its upward trend in March 2014, posting a 21% rise in travellers to Canada over the previous year.
  • There was good news, too, from the India and South Korea markets, which notched year-on-year increases in travellers to Canada of 9% and 8% respectively.
  • The US market slammed on the brakes in March 2014: a 20% drop in auto travel overshadowed a 1% boost to air travel, taking the overall number of Canadian trips down 12%.
  • Year-to-date March 2014, Americans have taken just under 1.6 million overnighters to Canada, down 6% on 2013, with British Columbia the only province to see more visitors (3%) than in the first three months of 2013.
  • CTC’s main European markets were all heavily hit by the Easter factor: traveller numbers declined from the UK (18%), France (8%) and Germany (7%).
  • In Latin America, the Mexico market suffered a sharp 26% contraction in consumers choosing Canada in March 2014, while the Brazil market saw a milder 3% decline in compared with March 2013.
  • There were mixed messages from outside CTC’s key international markets in March 2014: just as visitor numbers to Canada rose from Italy (8%), Taiwan (8%) and the Netherlands (6%), the numbers fell from Spain (-4%), Hong Kong (-6%) and Switzerland (-3%).
  • In another sign of Easter vacation timing, Canadians made just over 3.4 million outbound trips in March 2014, a 1% year-on-year decline.
  • The shoots of economic optimism continued in Canadian minds. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada,rose 2.9 points to 88.5, an increase for the third consecutive month.
  • Americans felt more chipper in March 2014. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index climbed four points to 82.3. 

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to March 31, 2014, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot –March 2014 in full.


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