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National tourism indicators, third quarter 2015

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Released: 2016-01-07

Tourism spending in Canada

$20.3 billion

Third quarter 2015


(quarterly change)

Tourism spending in Canada rose 1.1% in the third quarter, after increasing 0.7% in the previous quarter. This was the 10th consecutive quarterly gain in tourism spending and the largest increase since the second quarter of 2014.

The Pan-American Games were held in Toronto during the third quarter and followed the FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup, which ran from June 6 to July 5 in cities across Canada. The Canadian dollar also fell to an 11-year low in the third quarter relative to its American counterpart. These factors may have all contributed to an increase in tourism spending by Canadians at home and by international visitors in Canada.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada increases for 10th consecutive quarter
Tourism spending in Canada increases for 10th consecutive quarter

Tourism spending by Canadians up again

Tourism spending by Canadians at home rose 0.9% in the third quarter, after advancing 0.2% in the second quarter. Domestic tourism spending, which represents about 80% of all tourism spending in Canada, has increased since the second quarter of 2013.

Growth was driven by outlays on passenger air transport (+2.6%). Spending on vehicle fuel (+1.2%), recreation and entertainment (+1.2%) and pre-trip expenditures (+1.2%), such as luggage, also contributed to the increase.

Spending on accommodation was down 0.3%, while outlays on food and beverage services were flat. Tourism spending on non-tourism goods and services such as groceries and clothing decreased 0.4%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Increase in tourism spending by Canadians at home
Increase in tourism spending by Canadians at home

Spending by international visitors increases

Spending by international visitors in Canada increased 1.8% in the third quarter, following a 2.7% gain the previous quarter.

Tourism spending on most goods and services rose, led by passenger air transport (+1.9%), accommodation (+1.2%) and food and beverage services (+1.6%). Tourism spending on non-tourism goods and services (+2.7%) was also higher.

Overnight travel from abroad increased in the third quarter, as did same-day car travel from the United States.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Gain in tourism spending by international visitors
Gain in tourism spending by international visitors

Tourism gross domestic product expands

Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.2% in the third quarter, following a 0.8% increase in the second quarter. By comparison, national GDP was up 0.5% in the third quarter.

Tourism GDP in most tourism industries increased in the third quarter, with transportation (+2.1%) contributing the most to the gain. Tourism GDP in non-tourism industries grew 0.7%.

Tourism employment rose 0.4% on strong gains in the travel services (+3.9%) and recreation and entertainment (+1.3%) industries. Tourism employment was also up in food and beverage services, but declined in the air transportation and accommodation industries.

  Note to readers

Growth rates for tourism spending and gross domestic product are expressed in real terms (that is, adjusted for price changes) as well as adjusted for seasonal variations, unless otherwise indicated. Employment data are also seasonally adjusted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Associated percentage changes are presented at quarterly rates unless otherwise noted.

The national tourism indicators are funded by Destination Canada.

Next release

Data on the national tourism indicators for the fourth quarter of 2015 will be released on March 30, 2016.


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Contact information

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