Over the first six months of 2016, the Canadian tourism industry has seen significant growth with more than 7.9 million international visitors, a 9.8% year-on-year increase, according to the latest Tourism Snapshot from Destination Canada.
Leading the way is the US with American arrivals by air up 16.1%. In June alone, US overnight arrivals hit 1,668,418 – up 3.1% from June 2015. Next in line is the UK which saw 95,724 people visit in June, up 10.8%, and 8.2% year over year from January to June.
The numbers from other overseas markets are also trending on the positive side for June: China up 48.7%; France 6.2%; Australia 14.7%; Germany 3%; India 18.9%; Japan 19.5%; South Korea 22.3%; Mexico 14.8%; and Brazil 6.9%.
Helping keep visitor numbers on the rise is Destination Canada’s “Canadian Signature Experiences” collection, designed to allow visitors to explore some of Canada’s most rugged coastlines and experience the rich culture of Canada’s First Nations and coastal communities.
The Experiences are a curated collection of innovative travel experiences designed to encourage visitors to keep exploring Canada.
“The Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) highlight some of our industry’s most innovative products for our international visitors and makes Canada stand out as a compelling destination in the international tourism marketplace,” says Destination Canada president David F. Goldstein. “We’ve worked with our provincial and territorial partners to offer unique and high-quality experiences that add diversity, rustic adventure and deep connection to Canada’s people, geography and culture for the world to explore.”
The four newest Canadian Signature Experiences, named in July, were chosen for the exceptional ways they connect visitors to Canadians and Canada’s geography and rich cultural heritage, with an emphasis on coastal communities and marine adventures.
They include Canada’s East Coast: Fins and Fiddles by One Ocean Expeditions; Experience Life on the Edge: The West Coast Trail; Bones Bay Lodge, which offers wildlife eco-tours to a maximum of eight guests; Sea Wolf Adventures’ Grizzly Bears of the Wild, a First Nations Wildlife Journey in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Since the program’s inception, CSE has grown to 198 members.