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Travel between Canada and other countries, October 2017

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Released: 2017-12-19

More overnight trips to Canada from the United States by both plane and car

US residents made nearly 2.1 million trips to Canada in October, a 1.5% increase from September, and up 3.1% from October 2016. This was also the highest number of trips recorded for the month of October since 2007.

Growth was led by overnight trips to Canada by plane, which rose to 413,000, up 4.2% compared with September, and an 8.7% increase from October 2016. Car trips to Canada (+0.8%) also increased compared with September.

US residents made 676,000 overnight car trips to Canada, an increase compared with September (+2.7%) and October 2016 (+1.0%). Compared with October 2016, overnight car travel by US residents increased in every province except Ontario, which recorded a slight decline (-0.9%).

While overnight car trips increased, the number of same-day car trips by US residents declined from both September (-1.0%) and from October 2016 (-0.4%). This occurred despite a decrease in gas prices in most regions of Canada and the United States, following a price spike in September as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Travel to Canada from overseas continues to increase

Overseas residents made 551,000 trips to Canada in October, up 1.5% from September and up 0.3% from the previous October. This was a record for the month of October and the eighth consecutive year of increased travel from overseas to Canada in the month of October.

Compared with October 2016, there were increases in the numbers of travellers to Canada from all continents with the exception of Europe (-5.2%). Travel from Asia increased 2.3% from September, and was 2.0% higher compared with October 2016.

Travel by Canadians to the United States dips from September but up from October 2016

Canadian residents took 3.6 million trips to the United States in October, edging down 0.2% from the previous month, but up 2.3% from October 2016. On a year-to-date basis, travel by Canadians to the United States was up 2.0% from January to October 2017, compared with the same period last year.

Canadians made 732,000 overnight trips by plane to the United States in October, a decline from September in most provinces and down 0.6% nationally. It did, however, represent a 7.8% increase compared with October 2016. There was a 9.5% increase in the number of overnight plane trips by Canadian residents to the United Stated from January to October, compared with the same period last year.

Car travel by Canadians to the United States was virtually unchanged (-0.1%) from September, but was up slightly (+0.7%) compared with October 2016. While car travel declined at border crossings in most provinces, these were offset by gains in Ontario (+1.5%) and British Columbia (+2.0%) compared with October 2016, which together accounted for more than 75% of all trips to the United States by car.

Record travel by Canadians to overseas destinations for sixth straight October

More than 1.1 million Canadian residents returned from overseas countries (countries other than the United States) in October, almost unchanged from September (-0.1%), but up 6.8% compared with October 2016. This was a record for the month of October and the sixth consecutive October of increased travel during the month by Canadian residents to overseas countries.

  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 January to September 2017 have been revised. Not seasonally adjusted data from January to June of 2017 have been revised. Corrections have been made to the previous month.

Data for Statistics Canada's Frontier Counts program are produced using administrative data received from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on all international travellers who have been cleared for entry or re-entry into Canada. This includes residents of Canada, the United States and overseas entering Canada from abroad.

In 2017, the CBSA began introducing the electronic Primary Inspection Kiosk (PIK) system at airports in Canada. The PIK system replaces the E-311 Declaration Cards that are completed by international travellers to Canada. As of the end of October, the PIK system was deployed at the following airports: Macdonald–Cartier, Ottawa (March 2017), Vancouver (April 2017), Toronto International Airport T3 (June 2017), Edmonton (September 2017) and Halifax (October 2017).

While awaiting receipt of PIK data, Statistics Canada has prepared preliminary estimates for airports at which PIK has been deployed. These estimates are based on CBSA reports of total international travelers by airport, while the distribution between Canadian, US and travellers from individual overseas countries are modelled estimates based on historical data and trends, using methods similar to those used to do seasonal adjustment.

Once PIK data are received, Statistics Canada will revise the preliminary estimates for these airports, as well as the provincial and national totals to which they contribute.

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 October 2017 issue of International Travel: Advance Information, Vol. 33, no. 10 (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

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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