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National tourism indicators, third quarter 2017

Released: 2018-01-10

Tourism spending in Canada

$21.8 billion

Third quarter 2017

1.5% increase

(quarterly change)

Tourism spending in Canada rose 1.5% in the third quarter, the same rate as in the second quarter. The increase was driven by tourism spending by Canadians at home, as spending by international visitors in Canada declined.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada increases
Tourism spending in Canada increases

Tourism spending by Canadians rises

Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada grew 2.0% in the third quarter, compared with a 1.9% increase in the previous quarter.

Growth was driven by increased expenditures on passenger air transport, which grew at the fastest pace (+6.1%) since the first quarter of 2011. Spending on food and beverage services (+1.9%), pre-trip expenses, such as luggage and motor homes (+2.1%), and accommodation (+1.0%) also increased.

Spending on vehicle fuel (-0.9%) fell in the third quarter, as well as spending on interurban bus transport (-2.1%), which continued to decline because of falling demand.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Tourism spending by Canadians at home increases
Tourism spending by Canadians at home increases

Tourism spending by international visitors decreases

Spending by international visitors to Canada decreased 0.4% in the third quarter, after edging up 0.2% in the second quarter.

Lower expenditures on passenger air transport (-1.5%) accounted for most of the decline, followed by food and beverage services (-0.5%) and accommodation (-0.3%).

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

Tourism gross domestic product outpaces total economy

Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.7% in the third quarter, a faster rate than third-quarter national GDP (+0.6%).

The growth in tourism GDP was driven mainly by transportation (+3.2%) and accommodation (+2.7%). The tourism GDP of food and beverage services (+1.3%) also increased.

Tourism employment rose 0.5% in the third quarter, following 1.1% growth in the previous quarter, led by food and beverage services (+1.1%) and accommodation (+0.8%). Tourism jobs in travel services (-1.1%) and air transportation (-0.5%) decreased.

Sustainable development goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

The national tourism indicators are an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goal:

  Note to readers

Growth rates for tourism spending and gross domestic product are expressed in real terms (that is, adjusted for price changes), at 2007 constant prices, 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 2017 will be released on March 28, 2018.


The Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available. This publication will be updated to maintain its relevance.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

The System of Macroeconomic Accounts module features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structures.

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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