Travel Alberta

Tourism Growth in 2014: The 2014 Statistics Canada International Travel Numbers Released

Overall, 2014 was an encouraging year. While there has been some extraordinary growth – especially in the CTC's target markets – very weak US visitation numbers mean that we continue to hit below the global growth average, with overall growth of 3.2%


This past year, 7 out of 10 visitors to Canada were American. This means that even phenomenal growth out of emerging markets are not enough for Canada to reach the average visitor growth rate of 5%.


CTC Successes 

2014 was a banner year for the CTC in their ten target markets, they surpassed the global average growth rate of 5% in every single market and far out-performed 2013 growth numbers. Core European markets (France, Germany, U.K.) have rebounded with solid growth. India and Japan boomed going from 0.6% to 20.4% and -0.6% to 16.3% growth respectively. 


While important changes in visa regulations and additional air service have certainly helped, we cannot ignore the success of our national marketing efforts in these countries. In fact, CTC overseas markets grew at an average of 12.7% while the total overseas growth was 9.4% – a clear indication that their presence in these markets is making a difference.


Importance of the US Market

Despite success in CTC markets, Canada's overall international visitation growth rate was 3.2%, falling behind the global average of 5%. 


To highlight the importance of growth in the US consider this:


  • If American visitation to Canada grew at the same pace as visitation from CTC's markets, we would see an additional 1.5 million visitors who spend on average $532.90 per trip.
  • That means an additional $819 million in spending.
  • Even if we just increased visitation by 5% – the world average – there would be an additional 600,000 visitors spending $322 million.

*Note: TIAC reports the publicly available Statistics Canada data which are seasonally adjusted. For seasonally unadjusted numbers (i.e. reflecting holidays and major events) please visit the CTC's research site here.


Tourism Industry Association of Canada