In its Travel Markets Outlook report, the Conference Board of Canada is projecting that the number of overnight visits from both within Canada and international markets will increase by 2.0% in 2019.
While Canadian households are expected to face growing economic and financial challenges heading into 2019, domestic travel volumes are still projected to increase.
According to the Conference Board’s travel intentions survey, a growing share of Canadian households plan to take a winter vacation, and among those, a slightly higher share plan to stay in Canada for their longest-duration trip.
Meanwhile, growth from the U.S. and overseas markets is expected to strengthen in 2019, as travel price inflation eases and a favourable exchange rate for many international markets remains.
Greg Hermus, associate director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute, observed that: “Tourism activity in 2018 was weighed down by a number of factors, including rising travel prices, the weaker economic environment and lack of major events like those that happened in 2017.”
But he continued: “Fortunately, 2019 should see stronger growth in tourism activity thanks to more modest increases in travel prices and easing uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations.”
The recently issued travel advisory for Canada from the Chinese government presents a downside risk to the tourism forecast. International markets represent the strongest growth prospects for overnight visits to the country and China is Canada’s second most important overseas market.
The Conference Board of Canada’s Travel Markets Outlook also looked at how a number of major Canadian cities will perform as part the Outlook’s Metropolitan Focus.
The Outlook found that among the 10 Canadian cities growth in overnight visits is expected to average between 1.6% and 3.3% this year. Vancouver will experience the strongest growth in 2019 and will be the only city where tourism activity expands by more than 3%.