News releases

Tourism begins the road to recovery

Canadian Tourism Commission points to 2010 Winter Games strategy as latest tourism figures turn positive


VANCOUVER, BC, September 23, 2010—Signs that tourism may be turning the corner appeared in the latest figures from the International Travel Survey released this week by Statistics Canada – and the strategy developed by the CTC and its partners to leverage the 2010 Winter Games may be one of the factors in the upswing. Increased global exposure to Canada’s tourism brand has been possible through a $26-million allocation by the federal government, which runs until the end of 2012.

Although early days, for the second consecutive month data shows that inbound travel to Canada was up in July 2010 in the majority of the countries where the CTC invests in marketing programs. Year-to-date increases (2010/2009) in overnight trips registered across almost all CTC key markets with notable gains in Japan (29.3%) and Brazil (25.5%). China rose to an all time high, up 19.1% over 2009. Only Mexico (-39.8%) and the UK (-0.8%) have yet to turn the corner.  Even when compared against 2008 numbers, several of the CTC’s key international markets are showing increases. Total overnight travel to Canada by non-residents continued to show an increase in July, up 5.7% when compared with 2009.  From the US market, 99,172 more US overnight travellers visited Canada in the same period, while 34,535 more visitors arrived from the CTC’s overseas markets.

CTC President and CEO Michele McKenzie noted that the upward trend began after the 2010 Games. “We see the CTC’s 2010 Olympic strategy playing a significant role in these positive numbers. The breakthrough initiative to put B-roll video, images and stories about Canada in the hands of international broadcasters helped position Canada on the global stage during the 2010 Winter Games. The audience reach of our material to 8.8 billion viewers from January 1-March 31, 2010 amounted to an ad equivalent value of $800 million.”

Several regions of Canada have benefited from the upswing of inbound international travelers with the greatest year-to-date July gains registered by the Yukon (+9.8%) followed by New Brunswick (+9.1%) and Saskatchewan (+8.5%).

Said Ms. McKenzie, “As we leverage the afterglow of the Games and build on lessons learned,  we are able to use this knowledge to promote key international events and festivals across Canada through broadcast media channels, including the recent Toronto International Film Festival and the Formula 1 Race in Montreal in June. The footage the CTC and its partners developed in the lead up to the Games has provided an enduring legacy for the whole country.”

About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail. Or you can become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

For further information, please contact:

Margaret Nevin
Senior Communications Advisor / Conseillère en communications
Canadian Tourism Commission / Commission canadienne du tourisme
Tel / Tél 604.638.8406
Cell 604.376.6690
nevin [dot] margaret [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca