Travel Alberta

Canadian Tourism Arrivals Hit 14-year High

The numbers are in: in 2016, Canada welcomed 19,979,334 travellers – the highest number since 2002 and second highest ever.

International arrivals increased by 16% in Destination Canada’s overseas markets, and 10% in the US market, for an average of 11% growth across the board.

"Congratulations to the Canadian tourism industry on an incredible 2016 – so excited to work together to ensure this growth continues!” said the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, "As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year, let's also celebrate our tourism operators and industry leaders, and recognize their role in supporting economic growth for middle class Canadians.”

“This is great news,” said David F. Goldstein, Destination Canada’s CEO and President “Canada is open, welcoming, and has something for everyone – and people are seeing that. Together with our industry partners, we are encouraging travellers to explore Canada and experience a life less ordinary. I couldn’t think of a better time to visit than right now.”

Key highlights

  • 2016 was best year for Canadian tourism in 14 years, only 0.4% below the record set in 2002.
  • Arrivals from Destination Canada’s 10 overseas markets increased by 16% over 2015 levels.
  • A record-breaking number of US travellers arrived by air to Canada, an increase of over 17% over 2015.
  • New arrivals records set in the following Destination Canada markets:
    • South Korea – 244,442 arrivals, an increase of 30% over 2015
    • China – 610,139 arrivals, an increase of 24% over 2015
    • Australia – 333,437 arrivals, an increase of 16% over 2015
    • India – 215,664 arrivals, an increase of 13% over 2015
    • France – 545,786 arrivals, an increase of 9% over 2015
    • Brazil – 114,261 arrivals, an increase of 2% over 2015.

For a full report and infographic, see our website.

About Destination Canada:

Destination Canada markets Canada internationally as a premier four-season tourism destination. In collaboration with partners in the Canadian tourism industry, Destination Canada creates marketing campaigns designed to showcase the best our country has to offer. Destination Canada also provides research and industry data to our partners – equipping them to optimize their businesses.

For more information, please visit:, sign up for Destination Canada News and follow @DestinationCAN and @ExploreCanada on Twitter.

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Media Relations

Destination Canada

Destination Canada