Canadians set record for overnight travel to U.S. in December but overseas visits slip

Canadians set record for overnight travel to U.S. in December but overseas visit slipOTTAWA — While Canadians took fewer overseas trips for the first time in six months, they were setting records heading to the U.S.

Travel to overseas countries decreased for the first time in six months, as Canadian residents took 823,000 trips in December, down 1.8% from November.

Canadian residents took 1.2 million overnight car trips to the United States in December, up 8.7% from November and the highest monthly figure in more than 20 years.

This contributed to a 5.8% increase in overnight travel as Canadian residents took 2.0 million overnight trips to the United States in December, the highest monthly figure since record keeping began in 1972.

While overnight car travel increased by 100,000 trips, same-day car travel decreased by the same amount. Canadian residents took 2.6 million same-day car trips to the United States, down 3.7% from November.

In the opposite direction, travel to Canada from the United States decreased 0.2% in December despite a 1.3% increase in overnight travel.

Overnight travel rose primarily because of a 2.7% increase in overnight air travel, as U.S. residents took 318,000 overnight plane trips to Canada in December.

At the same time, same-day car travel declined 2.5% from November as U.S. residents took 579,000 same-day car trips in December, the lowest monthly figure recorded since July 2009.

Travel from overseas countries declined 0.4% in December to 406,000 trips.

Among the top 12 overseas markets, seven recorded decreases. The largest percentage decline was in travel from Hong Kong (-12.5%) while the largest percentage increase was in travel from China (+10.3%).