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Travel between Canada and other countries, May 2017

Released: 2017-07-20

US travel to Canada remains steady in 2017 

From January through to the end of May, the number of US travellers to Canada in 2017 remained steady (-0.3%) compared with the same five months of 2016. This followed two calendar years in which the number of US travellers grew by 8.4% (2015) and 8.3% (2016).

US residents made 2.0 million trips to Canada in May, down 3.1% from April. The decline was led by a 5.2% decrease in US overnight travellers by air compared with April. However, this was still up 5.3% from May 2016.

The number of US residents travelling to Canada by car decreased 2.3% to 1.3 million in May 2017. Overnight car trips were down 3.9%, while same-day car trips declined 0.7%.

Overseas arrivals to Canada reaches record high for May

Overseas residents made 544,000 trips to Canada in May, down 5.7% from April but up 9.7% from May 2016. The number of overseas residents travelling to Canada has risen every year since 2009 and in May 2017 reached its highest level for the month of May since modern record keeping began in 1972.

Canada welcomed 190,000 travellers from Asia in May, down 4.7% compared with April but 14.0% higher than May 2016 and the highest figure on record for the month of May.

Travellers from Europe declined 10.9% in May, led by fewer travellers from the United Kingdom (-10.8%) and Germany (-14.5%). Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of travellers from Europe was down 2.7%.

Arrivals from Mexico increased 2.5% from April and were 75.8% higher than in May 2016. Arrivals from Brazil increased 14.4% in May, as Canadian visa requirements for visitors from Brazil were modified starting May 1, 2017.

Car travel by Canadians to the United States falls to its lowest level for May in 14 years

Canadians made 3.2 million trips to the United States in May, down 7.7% from April and 5.5% lower than May 2016. The declines were led by fewer car trips to the United States.

The number of car trips made by Canadian residents to the United States decreased 8.3% in May, led by an 8.9% decline in the number of overnight trips by car while same day trips declined by 8.0%. There were 2.5 million trips by Canadians to the United States by car in May, compared with 2.7 million trips in May 2016. This was also the lowest number of car trips by Canadians to the United States for the month of May since 2003, a month when the Canadian dollar was at a similarly low level compared with the US dollar—about 72 cents in May 2003 and 73 cents in May 2017.

Unusually wet weather in May in much of Central and Eastern Canada may have also affected the number of car trips by Canadians to the United States, particularly in Ontario, where traffic was down by 8.7%, and in Quebec (-7.3%), the province most affected by flooding. Vancouver also experienced one of its wettest months of May on record, coinciding with a 9.1% decrease in Canadian residents crossing the US border in British Columbia.

Air travel was down in May, as Canadian residents made 662,000 overnight trips to the United States by plane, down 5.2% from the previous month but up 3.2% from 12 months earlier. Provincially, Ontario (-5.5%), Alberta (-10.1%) and Quebec (-8.0%) saw the largest drop in air travel to the United States.

Overseas travel by Canadians reaches new high in May

Canadian residents made 1.1 million trips to overseas countries in May, up 3.0% from April. This was 6.2% higher than May 2016 and was a new high for the month of May.

  Note to readers

Monthly data are seasonally adjusted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions. Year-to-date figures are based on unadjusted data.

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 February to April of 2017 have been revised. No revisions for not seasonally adjusted data. No 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 May 2017 issue of International Travel: Advance Information, Vol. 33, no. 5 (Catalogue number66-001-P) is now available.

Contact information

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