Good news for Canadian tourism

Statistics Canada reports that Canadian residents made 5.1 million trips outside the country in December, marking a 1.5% increase from November. It was also the first time since March 1994 that monthly travel abroad surpassed 5 million trips. Close to half of those trips abroad in December involved same-day car travel to the United States. Canadians made 2.5 million same-day car trips to the United States, a 4.2% increase and the highest monthly level since May 1998. In total, travel by Canadian residents to the United States rose 2.2%. The increase in same-day car travel to the United States offset a 0.6% decline in trips of one or more nights. This decline was mainly the result of a 1.3% decrease in overnight travel by plane. Travel from Canada to countries other than the United States fell 2.3% from November to 761,000 trips. In the opposite direction, travel to Canada by residents from abroad rose 0.6% in December to just over 2.0 million trips. This was the result of increases from both the United States and overseas countries. Travel from the United States increased 0.5% to over 1.6 million trips. The main factor was a 2.0% increase in same-day car trips by American residents to Canada, to 599,000 trips, the highest monthly level in 2011. The increase in same-day car travel offset a 0.4% decline in overnight travel by United States residents to Canada. The main factor of the decline was a 3.8% decrease in trips of one or more nights made by plane to 283,000 trips. Travel by overseas residents to Canada roseá1.3% to 389,000 trips, the highest level since September 2008. Travel from 8 of Canada’s top 12 overseas markets rose in December. Travel from India increased 12.5% to 15,000, the highest level from India since record-keeping began in 1972. Travel from the Netherlands declined 7.7%, the largest decrease.