Inbound tourism to Canada continues its climb on weak loonie

Canada welcomed more than 1.5 million international visitors, an 8% year-on-year increase, says new Destination Canada Tourism Snapshot. 

Canada is definitely a hot commodity in the international tourism marketplace. In May 2015, more than 1.5 million international travellers made our country their destination of choice, up 8% on the previous year. Indeed, that total was the highest number of international visitors to Canada in May since 2002, according to the latest Tourism Snapshot from Destination Canada (DC)’s Research department.

More vital statistics:

  • DC’s overseas markets continued the tourism pace in May 2015: growth expanded at a faster rate (8%) than other overseas markets (5%).
  • The US market had six appeal in May 2015: arrivals to Canada rose by auto (9%), air (6%) and other modes of transport (6%), culminating in an overall 8% year-on-year rise in travellers.
  • The US dollar has appreciated 13% over the loonie in the first five months of 2015, making the exchange rate much more favourable for US travellers.
  • Australians redoubled their efforts to take a Canadian vacation in May 2015, with visitors increasing 5% over the previous year.
  • The recent boost in air capacity between Seoul and Vancouver continues to reap rewards, with South Korean visitor numbers soaring 26% in May 2015.
  • The Japan market is ready for lift-off: May 2015 saw a significant 16% year-on-year surge in visitors to Canada.
  • DC’s European markets had a spring bloom in May 2015: arrivals to Canada rose from Germany (17%), France (7%) and the UK (6%).
  • Five-star show: the Australia, Brazil, China, France and India markets posted their highest-ever arrival totals for May in 2015.
  • DC’s secondary markets were also mainly on the up and up in May 2015, with arrivals increasing from the Netherlands (23%), Spain (14%), Switzerland (8%), Hong Kong (3%) and Italy (0.1%). Only Taiwan (-2%), endured a decline.
  • Canadians made 2.7 million trips abroad in May 2015, a slight 0.5% dip over May 2014.
  • Year-to-date May 2015, Canadians have taken 14.4 million overnighters abroad. Trips to the US have declined 5%, while those to other destinations have climbed 9% compared with 2014.
  • While the economy showed signs of faltering, Canadians still felt optimistic in May 2015. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, rose five points to 99.8.
  • After an early spring wobble, American self-belief firmed up again in May 2015. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index climbed 1.1 points to 95.4.

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to May 31, 2015, in Destination Canada’s—and partners’—key global markets.