Canada’s tourism industry should see another strong year in 2016, according to the latest numbers from the Conference Board of Canada.
Domestic visits are projected to increase by 2.1%, while overnight visits to Canada from the US and overseas are expected to increase by 5.1% and 5.2% this year, respectively.
Canadian travel prices are forecast to increase by 1.7% this year, and Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are predicted to all attract more visitors in 2016.
“A favourable exchange rate coupled with low gas prices will make Canada an attractive destination for both Canadian and international travellers in 2016,” said Greg Hermus, associate director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute.
Regionally, the nine Canadian cities covered in the “National and Metropolitan Travel Markets Outlooks” report should see varied levels of tourism growth in 2016. Edmonton will see the lowest growth at 0.8%, while Vancouver (pictured, photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver) will see the highest increase with overnight visits expected to increase by 4.1% in 2016.
- Halifax: Reinforced by strengthening economic prospects and recent hotel room additions, overnight travel to Halifax is forecast to grow by 2.7% in 2016. The number of Canadians travelling to the city is also expected grow by 2.2% this year. Meanwhile, US travel to Halifax should get a boost from a new direct air connection with Boston.
- Quebec City: Overnight travel to Quebec City is projected to increase by 3%, with the strongest gains coming from international markets. Most notably, overnight visits from the US are forecast to increase by 5.1%, while visits from overseas should increase by 5.3%.
- Montreal: Overnight visits are projected to increase by 3.4%, with the strongest growth coming from overseas markets. New attractions and greater hotel inventory should help stimulate pleasure travel while large conventions, such as the World Social Forum and the International Economic Forum of the Americas, should boost business travel.
- Ottawa-Gatineau: Business travel to Canada’s capital is expected to experience slightly stronger growth due to an increase in public sector spending and employment. Low gas prices should also help increase auto travel from nearby border states. Overall, overnight visits to the Nation’s Capital should rise by 2.7%.
- Toronto: Tourism activity in the city should get a lift this year from the city’s hosting of major sporting events, such as the NBA All-Star Game, the Grey Cup, and the World Cup of Hockey. All told, overnight visits to Toronto are projected to increase by 3.3% in 2016.
- Winnipeg: Solid economic prospects and rising consumer confidence should support overnight visits to the city, which are set to increase by 2.7%. Moreover, Winnipeg’s tourism industry should receive a boost from the NHL Heritage Classic Game.
- Calgary: Weaker economic conditions should benefit Alberta’s pleasure travel as they encourage Albertans to travel closer to home. The city’s pleasure travel industry should also benefit from hosting the 2016 Juno Awards and the opening of the National Music Centre.
- Edmonton: Tourism in Edmonton is in for another difficult year. The local and provincial economic woes have taken a toll on corporate profitability and lowered consumer confidence in the province. Overnight visits to the city will increase by a slight 0.8% in 2016.
- Vancouver: Overnight visits to Vancouver are poised to grow by 4.1%, thanks to the strength of domestic and international markets. Pleasure travel to the city should receive a boost from the opening of the Trump International Hotel and from hosting the World Rugby Sevens Tournament.