OTTAWA — Air travel by Canadians to the U.S. is on the rise, car trips across the border are declining, and overseas travel by Canadians – the kind of trips most often booked by travel agents – set a new record high, according to the latest numbers from StatsCan.
Canadian residents made a total of 3.4 million trips to the U.S. in June 2017, up 4.3% from May but 1.2% fewer than 12 months earlier.
Air travel by Canadians to the U.S. reached a new high for the month of June. In contrast, car travel to the U.S., which has declined in each of the last four years, was at its lowest since June 2009, near the end of the economic downturn.
After accounting for normal seasonal travel patterns, air travel by Canadians to the U.S. rose in June following a 5.2% decline in May.
Canadian residents took 760,000 overnight trips by plane to the U.S. in June, a 14.8% increase from May and 16.1% more than June 2016.
On a year-over-year basis, double-digit increases in the numbers of Canadians travelling to the U.S. by plane were recorded in B.C. (+22.3%), Quebec (+18.2%), Ontario (+18.1%) and Alberta (+11.6%).
Following a decrease of 8% in May, the number of car trips made by Canadian residents to the U.S. increased by 1.5% to 2.5 million in June. However, that total was 5.6% lower than June 2016.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of same-day car trips to the U.S. decreased by 6.8%, and overnight car trips decreased by 3.2%.
Among provinces bordering the U.S., only Saskatchewan recorded a year-over-year increase in Canadians returning from car trips to the U.S. (+2.5%).
For overseas travel is was a record-setting month. Some 1.1 million Canadians took a trip to overseas countries in June 2017, an increase of 5.4% from May and 15% higher than June 2016.
Meanwhile Canadian hotels, tours and attractions are enjoying boom times as the Canada 150 celebrations continue all year, bringing in more tourists than ever. American travellers made some 2 million trips to Canada, up 3.8% over June 2016 and the highest June figure in 10 years.
Overseas arrivals to Canada also reached new heights for June, with 558,000 arrivals, up 7.6% over June 2016 and the highest level for the month of June since StatsCan began charting travel figures in 1972.