Canada Closes 2014 On A High Note


The early 2014 tourism report card for Canada has been filed: it was a good year, with 17.1 million international visitors coming to Canada, a 3% rise on the previous year.

That positive news is tempered slightly by the knowledge that Canada has not reached its full potential – the country’s tourism growth is below the global average of 5% recorded by UNWTO, according to the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s research department.

The following are a few tourism statistics from 2014:

  • CTC’s overseas markets were the trailblazers in 2014, clocking an overall 11% year-on-year surge in arrivals to Canada, including 9% growth in December 2014.
  • Canada was the place to be in December 2014 for more than 1.1 million global travellers – a 6% rise on the previous year – which was the highest visitor total ever recorded for that month.
  • Rises in air travel (7%) and automobile trips (4%) meant that the overall total for US overnight visitors in December 2014 was higher than 783,000, up 5% on December 2013.
  • Looking at 2014 as a whole, Americans made 12 million overnights to Canada, a slight 1% improvement on 2013.
  • The Australia market was a big mover and shaker in December 2014, with 14% more Aussies than the previous year taking a Canadian vacation.
  • In CTC’s Asian markets, the year closed with four tales of success, as visitor numbers rose in December from China (20%), India (13%), Japan (16%) and South Korea (9%).
  • The Mexico market had a strong finish to 2014, with a 12% boost in travellers to Canada.
  • More than 482,000 French travellers crossed the Atlantic to Canada in 2014, the highest yearly total on record for that market.
  • France was one of five CTC markets – Australia, Brazil, China and India were the other four – to enjoy a record-breaking 2014 in terms of visitor numbers.
  • CTC’s secondary markets had highs and lows in December 2014: although visitors to Canada soared from Taiwan (45%), Hong Kong (20%), Italy (14%) and Spain (7%), they dipped from the Netherlands (-0.1%) and Switzerland (-4%).
  • Hearth and home appealed to Canadians in the first month of winter, as outbound travel dipped 1% in December to 2.3 million trips.
  • Canadians took 33.5 million outbound trips in 2014, up 2% on the previous year.
  • The year ended with renewed optimism for Canadians. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, rose 6.3 points in December to end 2014 at 88.9.