Travel Alberta

China market tops overseas charts - January 2014 CTC Tourism Snapshot

The China market topped the overseas charts for the first time as the new travel year got underway, reports the hot-off-the-presses January 2014 Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department. 

The international travel year was greeted by fireworks around the world and certainly got off to a bang in Canada. Just over 700,000 international travellers made their way to our country in January 2014, a 3% year-on-year rise.

More key data:

• The China market certainly lit up the tourism sky in January 2014: the busy Chinese New Year period at the end of the month helped propel trip numbers to Canada to 26,762 (up 64%), which made it Canada’s largest overseas market for the first time ever.

• However, the holiday itself took place on Jan. 31 (compared with Feb. 10 in 2013), so a more accurate picture of year-on-year growth will emerge by combining and contrasting the first two months of 2014.

• CTC’s other Asian markets also had stars in their eyes in January 2014, with arrivals to Canada climbing from India (8%), Japan (5%) and South Korea (4%).

• The US market remained largely static in the first month of 2014, edging down 0.3% to 476,000 Canadian overnighters. Despite air (1%) and auto (0.4%) arrivals climbing, the total was restricted by a 14% drop in travellers coming via other means.

• The Germany market started 2014 with a powerful 8% increase in overnight trips to Canada. Ontario was the biggest beneficiary of this travel largesse, receiving 18% more Teutonic visitors than January 2013.

• Elsewhere in Europe, the UK market shook off its midwinter blues to register 3% more trips across the pond to visit Canada, not quite enough to stay ahead of China.

• The France market suffered a touch of the old ennui, with 4% fewer French travellers coming to Canada in January 2014.

• Good times keep-a-coming for the Mexico market, which notched an impressive 14% year-on-year uptick in travellers choosing Canada in January 2014.

• Australians’ appetite for Canadian experiences gets stronger with each passing month; January 2014 witnessed a 6% rise in travellers to Canada compared with the previous year.

• Outside CTC’s key international markets, arrival numbers to Canada rose in January 2014 from Hong Kong (58%) and Taiwan (34%), with both markets enjoying the positive effects of the Chinese New Year holiday travel period.

• The story was generally upbeat in Europe, too, with Italy (10%), Spain (8%) and Switzerland (5%) all posting gains; the only downside came from the Netherlands (-6%).

• Canadians resumed their merry wanderings abroad in January 2014, taking just under 2.7 million trips, a 3% increase over January 2013.

• The new year carried the old one’s economic anxieties for Canadians. The Index of Consumer Confidence, released by The Conference Board of Canada, moved up a single point to 81.4.

• There was no such fretfulness south of the border at the start of 2014. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose 3.2 points to total 80.7.

The Tourism Snapshot examines statistics and travel trends up to Jan. 31, 2014, in CTC’s—and partners’—key global markets.

Read the Tourism Snapshot –January 2014 in full.
Canadian Tourism Commission