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Travel between Canada and other countries, April 2017

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Released: 2017-06-20

More US travellers to Canada by car and by plane

US residents made 2.0 million trips to Canada in April, up 3.7% from March when cross-border travel was affected by a heavy snowstorm that hit much of Central and Eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

Ontario, which received just over half of all US travellers to Canada in 2016, accounted for most of the monthly increase. Ontario saw a 6.4% increase in US travellers in April following declines in February (-1.0%) and March (-3.1%).

There were more US travellers to Canada coming both by car and by plane. Same-day car trips to Canada were up 4.6% to 687,000 in April, while the number of overnight US car trips rose 1.9% to 679,000. The number of US travellers making overnight trips to Canada by plane continued its four-year upward trend, rising 3.5% to 408,000 in April. This was 12.1% higher than in April 2016 and the highest figure for the month since modern recordkeeping began in 1972.

Travel to Canada from overseas continues to rise

Overseas residents made 589,000 trips to Canada in April, up slightly (+0.2%) from March and a 16.2% increase from April 2016. The number of overseas residents travelling to Canada has risen each year since 2009.

The number of travellers from Asia, which has grown at an even faster pace, continued to rise in April, up 5.0% from March and 18.7% higher than in April 2016.

The number of travellers from Europe was down 2.8% in April following a 7.7% increase in March, but was 13.8% higher than in April 2016.

Car travel by Canadians to the United States bounces back after storms in March

The number of Canadian residents travelling to the United States rose 3.4% to 3.5 million trips in April, following a 3.4% decline in March. This figure was 5.2% higher than April 2016 but 23.6% lower than in April 2013 when the Canadian dollar was close to par with the US currency. The value of the Canadian dollar was just under 75 US cents in March and April 2017.

The increase in April was mainly attributable to 3.9% more Canadian residents crossing the border by car, following a heavy snowstorm in Central and Eastern Canada in March. In particular, the number of cross-border car trips by Canadian residents at Ontario borders rose 6.1% in April, following declines in February (-1.1%) and March (-7.5%).

Meanwhile, Canadians made 700,000 overnight trips to the United States by air in April, up 1.8% from the previous month and a 13.0% increase compared with 12 months earlier.

Canadian travel to overseas countries declines in April

Canadian residents made 1.0 million trips to overseas destinations in April, down 0.8% from March but 4.3% higher than April 2016 and a new high for the month.

Who's coming to Canada in 2017? Year-to-date results

From January through to the end of April 2017, the number of travellers to Canada from abroad was 3.3% higher than during the same four months of 2016.

The gain was almost entirely attributable to a 17.4% increase in overseas travellers to Canada, while the number of US travellers was unchanged (+0.1%). Conversely, the number of US travellers to Canada for the first four months of 2016 was 15.6% higher than for the same four months of 2015, compared with an 8.9% increase in overseas travellers.

For US travellers, a 2.4% decrease in trips to Canada by car was offset by a 6.3% increase in trips to Canada by air. In 2016, US travellers represented 8 out of every 10 non-resident travellers to Canada, and more than 5 of those 8 US travellers came to Canada by car.

In the first four months of 2017, 9 of Canada's 10 largest source countries for overseas travellers posted double-digit year-over-year increases compared with the first four months of 2016. There were more travellers from Europe (+13.3%), Asia (+17.5%), North America (excluding US), Central America and Caribbean (+36.9%), Australia and Oceania (+22.6%) and South America (+16.4%).

  Note to readers

Monthly data are seasonally adjusted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Data users making comparisons between April 2017 and April 2016 using unadjusted data should note that Easter fell in April in 2017 compared with March in 2016.

Seasonally adjusted data from January to March of 2017 and January to December for 2016 have been revised. Not seasonally adjusted data from July to December for 2016 have been revised. Corrections were done to the previous month.

Overseas countries refer to countries other than the United States.

A Canadian resident traveller is a Canadian resident who has travelled outside Canada for a period of less than 12 months.

A non-resident traveller is a resident of a country other than Canada who is travelling to Canada for a period of less than 12 months.


The April 2017 issue of International Travel: Advance Information, Vol. 33, no.4 (Catalogue number66-001-P) is now available.

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