Travel Alberta

New Year Brings Continued Momentum for Canadian Travel Industry

The wave of international travellers showed no sign of cresting as the new year dawned. Canada offered a warm welcome to just under 740,000 global visitors in January, a 5% year-on-year rise, reports the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department.

Some more statistical headliners:

  • Overnight arrivals from the US market, which comprises 70% of Canada’s visitor total, rose 6% in January 2015.
  • A 10% depreciation of the loonie relative to the US dollar helped drive strong overnight increases in air arrivals (7%) and auto trips (6%).
  • The France market was Canada’s standard bearer in Europe in January 2015, posting a solid 10% rise in travellers crossing the Atlantic to Canada.
  • Summer vacation time plus Canadian ski season added up to a 7% surge in Aussie visitors to Canada in January 2015.
  • Helped by the CAN+ visa program, Indian travellers have an increasing appetite for Canadian experiences, reflected in a 17% boost in visitor numbers.
  • With the Chinese New Year taking place in February 2015, many Chinese travellers delayed their travel plans compared with last year, resulting in a 10% drop in visitors to Canada in January. Next month should see strong growth to offset this temporary dip.
  • The Mexico market registered its ninth consecutive month of double-digit growth, posting a 12% rise in travellers to Canada in January 2015.
  • Increased seat capacity between Seoul and Vancouver, BC, helped the visitor total climb 6% year-on-year from South Korea in January 2015.
  • It’s a hat-trick! Australia, Brazil and India were the three CTC markets to have a record-breaking January in terms of visitor numbers.
  • CTC’s secondary markets had mixed fortunes in January 2015: Italy (+19%), Switzerland (+9%) and the Netherlands (+3%) yielded more visitors Canada, but the delayed Chinese new year caused declines from Hong Kong (-30%) and Taiwan (-15%). Spain’s total (-0.7%) stayed relatively stable.  
  • Away days resonated with Canadians in January 2015, who took 2.8 million trips abroad, a 3% rise over the previous year.
  • Overseas destinations were the big beneficiary of Canadians’ travel plans in January 2015, with total trips climbing 8% to 1.2 million.
  • Canadians took 33.5 million outbound trips in 2014, up 2% on the previous year.
  • Canadians began the new year with a sunny disposition. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, climbed 2.7 points in January 2015 to reach 107.  
  • South of the border, optimism reigned supreme in January 2015. The Conference BoardConsumer Confidence Index soared 10.7 points to 103.8.

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to Jan. 31, 2015, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot –January 2015 in full.


Canadian Tourism Commission