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Travel between Canada and other countries, August 2017

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Released: 2017-10-19

Record number of US travellers arriving in Canada by plane

Just over 2 million US residents visited Canada in August as Canada 150 celebrations continued, 0.8% more than in July and a 3.9% increase compared with the same month in 2016. Over the first eight months of 2017, the number of US residents travelling to Canada was up 1.5% compared with the same period last year.

Growth of US arrivals was led by overnight trips by plane. US residents made 403,000 overnight plane trips to Canada in August, a new record for the month of August. This represents a 2.8% increase from July and a 7.8% increase over the previous high of 373,000 trips for the month set in August 2016.

Quebec, which is also celebrating Montréal's 375th anniversary this year, was the province that recorded the largest year-over-year increase in overnight trips by plane by US residents compared with August 2016. Quebec welcomed 63,000 US residents making overnight trips by plane in August, up 20.5% compared with 12 months earlier but down 1.5% from July 2017.

The number of US residents travelling to Canada by car also increased in August to 1.4 million, up 0.2% from July and 1.5% more than in August 2016. Together, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia typically account for about 90% of border crossings by US residents by car. Of these three provinces, Ontario (+1.1%) and Quebec (+2.1%) recorded more car trips from the United States in August. British Columbia, which continued to suffer the province's worst wildfire season on record in August according to the British Columbia Wildfire Service, saw a 2.9% decline. British Columbia was also the only province or territory bordering the United States that did not record a year-over-year increase in car travel by US residents in August 2017.

More overseas trips to Canada over the first eight months of 2017 

Overseas residents made 541,000 trips to Canada in August, up 0.9% from July and 0.5% higher than in August 2016. This was also the fifth consecutive year-over-year increase for the month of August and a new record high for the month. From January to August 2017, the number of overseas travellers to Canada was 7.5% higher compared with the same period in 2016.

There were more trips from Europe (+3.2%) and Asia (+2.8%) in August. Together, these two continents generally account for nearly four-fifths of overseas visitors to Canada. However, the number of visitors from these two continents were down (-1.3% from Europe and -1.2% from Asia) compared with August 2016. From January to August 2017, the number of visitors from Asia increased 7.4% compared with the same period last year, while the number of visitors from Europe rose 2.7%.

Despite declines from July to August, travel from all regions other than Europe and Asia increased over the first eight months of 2017 compared with the same period of 2016. Trips from North/Central America (excluding the United States) and the Caribbean increased 29.9% over this period, while trips from South America rose by 17.1%. Visa requirements were lifted for citizens of Mexico in December 2016 and modified for citizens of Brazil in May 2017.

Canadians travelling to United States by plane reaches another new high

The number of Canadian residents travelling to the United States rose 2.0% from July to 3.5 million in August, up 1.4% compared with August 2016. The months preceding August 2017 saw the value of the Canadian dollar rise from about US$0.73 in May to about US$0.79 in July and August.

The increased travel from the previous year was led by Canadians making overnight trips to the United States by plane. The number of overnight trips by plane reached 713,000, a new high for the month and 7.7% more than in August 2016. However, the total was down 2.0% from July. From January to August 2017, travel by plane from Canada to the United States increased 9.4% compared with the same eight-month period a year earlier.

The total number of trips by car to the United States rose by 3.2% compared with July, but was 0.7% lower than in August 2016.

Number of Canadians travelling overseas continues to increase

Nearly 1.1 million Canadian residents returned from overseas countries in August, up 0.9% from July and 5.6% higher compared with August 2016. This was the highest figure for the month of August since modern record-keeping began in 1972.

The number of Canadians returning from overseas countries in the month of August has increased every year since 2002 and volumes have nearly tripled over this period.

  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.

Seasonally adjusted data from May to July 2017 have been revised. Data that have not been seasonally adjusted, from May to July 2017 has been revised. Corrections were made to the previous month.

Recent data for the following airports are preliminary estimates that will be revised in a future release: Macdonald-Cartier, Ottawa (since March 2017), Vancouver (since April 2017) and Toronto International Airport T3 (since June 2017). Since these estimates contribute to provincial and national totals, these totals will also be revised.

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 August 2017 issue of International Travel: Advance Information, Vol. 33, no. 8 (Catalogue number66-001-P) is now available.

The updated Canada and the World Statistics Hub – United States (Catalogue number13-609-X) is now available from the home page of our website. This new product illustrates the nature and extent of Canada's economic and financial relationship with the United States, using interactive graphs and tables. This product provides easy access to information on trade, investment, employment and travel, including merchandise trade by Canadian provinces and US states.

Contact information

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