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Travel between Canada and other countries, March 2018

Released: 2018-05-23

US travel to Canada rises

US residents made 2.1 million trips to Canada in March, up 2.7% from February and 7.4% higher compared with March 2017.

After accounting for normal seasonal variation, the number of same-day car trips rose 5.1% from February 2018 to 702,000, up 6.8% from March 2017. The number of overnight car trips rose 2.1% from February to 691,000.

Meanwhile, the number of overnight plane trips to Canada by US residents rose 0.3% in March to 430,000, an increase of 9.7% over March 2017.

The year-over-year increase in US travel to Canada may be due, in part, to a heavy snowstorm in March 2017 that affected much of Eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, resulting in thousands of flight cancellations and lower cross-border car travel.

Overseas travel to Canada rises from March 2017 

Residents of overseas countries (countries other than the United States) made 586,000 trips to Canada in March, down 1.9% from February but up 2.1% from March 2017. Travellers from Europe made 243,000 trips to Canada, down 5.0% from February 2018 and 6.5% fewer than in March 2017.

In contrast, travellers from Asia made 210,000 trips in March, up 1.9% from February and 10.4% higher compared with March 2017.

Travel by Canadians to the United States up from previous month

Canadian residents took 3.8 million trips to the United States in March, up 0.8% compared with February and 11.1% higher compared with March 2017.

This increase was led by growth in same-day car trips, up 2.8% from February 2018 to 2.0 million. However, overnight car trips edged down 1.4% to 933,000.

Overnight plane trips declined 1.3% from a month earlier to 722,000, but were up 3.4% from March 2017.

The average value of the Canadian dollar, one factor influencing cross-border travel, edged down from US$0.80 in February to US$0.78 in March, but was up slightly from March 2017 when it stood at US$0.75.

Overseas travel by Canadians reaches record high for the month of March

About 1.1 million Canadian residents came home from overseas countries in March, up 0.3% from February, and up 6.2% over March 2017. The number of Canadian residents returning from overseas travel in March reached a record high for the month.


  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 March 2018 and March 2017 using unadjusted data are advised to note that the entirety of Easter weekend was in April in 2017 compared with March and April in 2018 (Easter Sunday was April 1, 2018).

Seasonally adjusted data from January and February 2018 and January to December 2017 have been revised. No revisions were made to data that were not seasonally adjusted. No corrections were 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 were 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 International Airport (April 2017); Toronto International Airport T3 (June 2017); Edmonton International Airport (September 2017); Stanfield International Airport, Halifax (October 2017); Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Montréal (November 2017); and Jean Lesage Airport, Québec (December 2017).

While awaiting receipt of PIK data, Statistics Canada prepared preliminary estimates for airports at which the PIK system has been deployed. These estimates are based on CBSA reports of total international travellers by airport, while the distribution between Canadian, American 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 have been reviewed and processed, 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.

An overnight traveller or a tourist is a traveller whose trip includes one or more night's stay.

Products

The March 2018 issue of International Travel, Advance Information, Vol. 34, no. 3 (Catalogue number66-001-P) is now available.

The updated Canada and the World Statistics Hub (Catalogue number13-609-X) is available online. This product illustrates the nature and extent of Canada's economic and financial relationship with the world using interactive graphs and tables. This product provides easy access to information on trade, investment, employment and travel between Canada and a number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and Japan.

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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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