Expect modest tourism growth in 2012

In its newly released Travel Markets Outlook – Spring 2012: National Focus, the Conference Board of Canada is forecasting that overnight stays in Canada will rise by a modest 1.8% in 2012, as a result of balanced growth in both domestic and international visits. The Conference Board of Canada publishes its report twice a year, providing a five-year forecast for the tourism industry. Greg Hermus, associate director, Canadian Tourism Research Institute, said: “While we expect continued growth in the number of overnight domestic trips, Canadians’ limited gains in household discretionary income will curtail the average spending per trip.” The Conference Board indicated that overnight visits from the United States are expected to edge up by a slight 0.5% in 2012. Led by robust travel from emerging markets and Japan, overseas visits are forecast to grow by 3.1% in 2012. Overall tourism spending is expected to increase by 3.8% in 2012. Following a sharp rise during 2011, travel prices are expected to post more modest growth of 1.5% in 2012. The Conference Board outlook also provides tourism insights for all 10 provinces and Yukon. !!! Newfoundland and Labrador — Intra-provincial tourism will be solid, but little growth in overnight visits from the rest of Atlantic Canada is expected, due to slow economic growth in those provinces. !!! Prince Edward Island — Visits from overseas are forecast to grow strongly this year, especially from Japanese tourists who did not travel following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. !!! Nova Scotia — Visits to the province will grow at a modest pace due to weaker economic growth in other Atlantic provinces, but overseas visits will increase at a healthy pace. !!! New Brunswick — Domestic travel to the province will post only a modest increase this year over 2011. On the bright side, the addition of Saint John to the itineraries of several cruise ships has spawned growth in this segment. !!! Quebec — Domestic travel to and within Quebec will see modest growth, but overnight visits from France are expected to continue to grow this year. !!! Ontario — Growth in travel from China and India is expected to offset weakness from Europe, boosting overseas arrivals. !!! Manitoba — The province’s booming mining sector is expected to help boost growth in domestic business travel. !!! Saskatchewan — growth in visits from Alberta will be strong, but overseas arrivals from Europe will ease due to the European debt crisis. !!! Alberta — In addition to strong intra-provincial tourism, the centennial Calgary Stampede is expected to draw a record crowd. !!! British Columbia — China’s granting of Approved Destination Status for Canada should lead to continued growth in Chinese tourists to the province. !!! Yukon — The booming mining sector will draw business travelers from B.C. and the Prairies. Go to http://www.conferenceboard.ca for more.

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