The Canadian travel industry is fuelled year after year by huge volumes of ITC package sales to sun and sand destinations. So does that mean we’re immune to 2019’s travel trends? Not at all.
TORONTO — Oh, Canada! It was a record-breaking year for Canadian tourism in 2016, with the highest number of tourist arrivals in 14 years.
According to Destination Canada’s year-end data, 19.98 million travellers came to explore Canada from coast to coast in 2016, a total that’s just shy of the country’s best year on record in 2002.
Total arrivals grew by 11% last year, which is the fastest year-over-year growth in 20 years. Arrivals from the United States reached 13.90 million (+ 9.7%), its highest observed level since 2005. The strong performance of U.S. arrivals was underpinned by strong growth in arrivals by air (+17.4%) throughout 2016, and solid overall gains in auto arrivals (+6.8%).
The number of Americas arriving to Canada by air breached the 4 million mark for the first time with 4.53 million arrivals, an all-time high nearly 15.3% higher than the previous peak from 2004.
Overseas markets also did exceptionally well, with arrivals up 16%, topping the record high set in 2015. Canada set new records for travellers arriving from South Korea, China, Australia, India, France and Brazil.
In December 2016, a total of 1.34 million international overnight arrivals broke a new record for arrivals for that month, with 11.3% growth over the previous high set in 2015. Also in that month, solid double-digit gains were set in nine of Destination Canada’s overseas markets, with high results emerging from Mexico (+69.1%) and India (+43.4%), as well as record December monthly numbers for France (+22.1%), Germany (+19.0%), China (+17.7%), Australia (+23.1%), and Brazil (+23.2%).
Destination Canada released a handy infographic to sum up 2016’s record numbers: