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Monday, January 10, 2005
National tourism indicatorsThird quarter 2004
Tourism spending advanced 0.3% in the third quarter of 2004, the fifth consecutive quarterly increase. However, this was down from the 1.9% average gain recorded in the previous four quarters, and reflected a marked slowdown in spending by international visitors, mainly from the United States. The Canadian dollar appreciated 4.0% against the US dollar for the quarter.
Tourism spending continued to recover from the difficulties of the past few years. Spending was 6.1% higher than 2003, but remained 1.9% below its peak set in the first quarter of 2001.
International visitor spending flat
International spending was flat in the third quarter, after four quarters of robust growth averaging 4.2%. The number of international visitors was down 1.7%, with those staying overnight down 0.7%.
Canadians' travel spending abroad was down 4.5% and the international travel deficit fell to $0.9 billion from $1.2 billion in the second quarter (measured in current dollars). The deficit indicates that Canadian travellers spend more abroad than international visitors spend in Canada.
Canadians' spending at home continues to advance
Domestic tourism spending was up 0.5% in the third quarter, the fifth consecutive quarterly gain. The sustained growth in domestic tourism spending reflected in part continued growth (+0.8%) in overall final domestic demand.
Increases in spending were widespread across tourism commodities, with some notable exceptions. Canadians' spending on accommodation fell 0.5%, its third consecutive decline, while spending on interurban bus transportation fell 1.4%, its fifth straight decline.
Spending on air transportation inches up
Air transportation (+0.4%) posted its weakest gain in five quarters. Still, one-fifth of tourism dollars went to airfares, the most of any tourism commodity.
Spending on food and beverages edged up 0.2% and accounted for one-sixth of a tourist's budget. Accommodation, which comprised 14% of total tourism spending, contracted 0.6% for the quarter.
Recreation and entertainment, which includes casino spending, advanced a solid 0.9%. This commodity has taken up a steadily growing share of tourism spending over the past few years.
Despite high gas prices, vehicle fuel consumption advanced 0.3%.
Tourism employment edges up
The number of tourism jobs edged up 0.1% in the third quarter, the fifth straight increase. This followed a 0.6% gain in the second quarter.
A 0.5% decline in accommodation jobs was more than offset by increases in air transportation (+0.2%), food and beverage services (+0.2%) and other tourism (+0.7%).
Tourism jobs grew at a slower pace than in the overall business sector, which registered a 0.5% increase in jobs.
Tourism GDP advances
Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) advanced 0.2% in the third quarter. All industries, except accommodation and interurban bus transportation, registered gains. The share of tourism in economy-wide GDP remained at 2.0%.
Early indicators are providing mixed signals for the fourth quarter of 2004. International trips to Canada declined 1.3% in October, however overnight trips increased 0.8%.
The air transportation industry increased jobs and output in October, while the accommodation, food and beverage services, and recreation and entertainment industries registered lower jobs and output.
The Canadian dollar appreciated 3.3% against the US dollar in October, and 4.3% in November.
Available on CANSIM: tables 387-0001 to 387-0010.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 1910.
The third quarter 2004 issue of National Tourism Indicators (13-009-XIB, free) is now available on our Web site. From the Our products and services page, under Browse our Internet publications, choose Free, then National accounts.
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