Canada expected to welcome over 9 million tourists in 2018
Toronto, Ontario

Canada expected to welcome over 9 million tourists in 2018

OTTAWA — After a year of solid growth in 2017, Canada is expected to see further increase in overseas visits by as much as 6.7% in 2018.

This would put the total number of overseas visitors at over 9 million this year, said The Conference Board of Canada, which recently released its latest Travel Markets Outlook report.

“Overseas visits to Canada are expected to increase from all continents, with the highest growth coming from Mexico and China,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute.

Travel from China is expected to get a boost from the Canada-China Year of Tourism, while Mexican tourists will continue to benefit from the lifting of visa requirements for travellers from Mexico, which was implemented in December 2016.

Overnight visits from the U.S. will be down slightly due to high gas prices, but are still projected to increase by 3.4%.

In all, tourism activity in Canada is set to increase by 2.6% in 2018.

Here are regional highlights from 10 Canadian cities covered in the ‘Travel Markets Outlook: Metropolitan Focus’ report:

  • Vancouver: Over 8 million tourists are expected to visit Vancouver this year. The city will host a number of high-profile sporting and cultural events, while convention activity is expected to reach an all-time high in 2018.
  • Edmonton: Overnight visits to Edmonton are forecast to increase by 2.9%, boosted by attractions like the new Royal Alberta Museum and a recovering provincial economy.
  • Calgary: Travel to Calgary will get a lift from sporting events like the FINA Diving Grand Prix, as well as from higher oil prices and a recovering provincial economy. Close to 3.9 million tourists are projected to visit this year.
  • Winnipeg: The city will get added media exposure thanks to the Jets’ Stanley Cup playoff run, not to mention the Canadian Ringette Championship later this year. Overnight visits are forecast to increase 3.0% in 2018.
  • Catharines-Niagara: Despite high gas prices, the opening of new attractions and hosting of sporting events will help increase overnight visits by 2.8% this year.
  • Toronto: An estimated 14.8 million tourists are expected to visit Toronto this year, representing an uptick of 3.5% from 2017. This boost is largely attributed to the Raptor’s playoff run, Travel + Leisure’s travel recommendation, as well as new direct flights to the city.
  • Ottawa: Tourism activity in Ottawa is expected to ease this year following phenomenal gains in 2017. However, the volume of visitors will remain high thanks in large part to new facilities and the exposure created by the Canada 150 events last year.
  • Montreal: Overnight visits to Montreal are expected to grow at a more modest pace of 2.3% in 2018. Last year’s coverage of its 375th anniversary as well as new direct flights will continue to attract visitors this year.
  • Quebec City: The city will be top of mind among travellers this year thanks to enhanced tourist infrastructure and events surrounding the 125th anniversary of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. The Charlevoix tourist region, which recently hosted the G7 Summit, will also receive a boost. Overall, overnight visits are expected to expand by 2.8% in 2018.
  • Halifax: Close to 2 million tourists are expected to visit in 2018, an increase of 3.2% from last year. The city was recently featured on TripAdvisor’s list of Top 10 Tourist Destinations on the Rise, which is expected to raise Halifax’s profile around the world.