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Tourism spending on culture and sport products, 2016

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Released: 2018-06-01

Tourism spending on culture and sport products

Tourism spending on culture products increased by $49.7 million from 2015 to $1.7 billion in 2016. Culture products represented 1.9% of total tourism spending in Canada. Of their expenditures on culture products, tourists spent the most on performing arts, which includes attending concerts and plays, followed by film and video, crafts and books.

Spending by tourists on sport products in Canada totalled $915.6 million in 2016, up 2.7% from 2015. This spending was almost equally split between organized sport, and governance, funding and professional support. Organized sport includes admissions to National Hockey League (NHL) games and other live professional sporting events. Fees for the use of public recreational facilities, like swimming pools, are included within governance, funding and professional support. As a proportion of total tourism spending, sport products represented 1.0% in 2016.

Tourism spending by Canadians

Domestic tourism spending on culture products (that is, expenditures made by Canadian tourists in Canada) totalled $1.2 billion in 2016, or around 70% of total tourism spending on culture products. As a proportion of total domestic tourism spending, culture products accounted for 1.6%. Performing arts (27.9%), crafts (16.7%) and film and video (9.9%) were the top contributors to domestic tourism spending on culture products.

Canadian tourists spent $586.6 million on sport products in 2016, with roughly half going towards organized sport. Sport products represented 0.8% of total domestic tourism spending in Canada.

Tourism spending by international visitors

Culture tourism spending by international visitors to Canada rose 8.5% in 2016 to $536.1 million. International visitors spent proportionally more on culture products (2.7% of total tourism exports) than domestic tourists (1.6% of total domestic tourism spending). The largest culture spending categories for international visitors were performing arts, film and video, and original visual art, which includes original paintings and sculptures. Spending in performing arts (35.0%) and film and videos (21.5%) accounted for a greater proportion of tourism spending by international visitors, compared with tourism spending by Canadians.

International visitors spent $328.9 million on sport products in 2016. As a percentage of total export tourism spending, sport products represented 1.6%, double the proportion spent by domestic tourists. Spending by international visitors on sport products was equally split between organized sport and governance, funding and professional support. Attending live professional sporting events, such as the World Cup of Hockey, is included within organized sport. Governance, funding and professional support includes fees for public recreational services, such as skating rinks.

  Note to readers

Tourism spending on culture and sport products provides measures of the total, domestic and export spending by tourists in Canada on culture and sport products.

Total tourism spending is the sum of both domestic and export tourism spending.

Domestic tourism spending represents expenditures made by Canadian tourists travelling in Canada.

Export tourism spending represents spending by international visitors to Canada.

Estimates of tourism spending on culture and sport products are produced by finding the common components (i.e. linking) between the Canadian Culture Satellite Account (CSA) and the Canadian Tourism Satellite Account.

These estimates represent direct spending by tourists on culture and sport products.

Any culture products that are not purchased directly by a tourist are not captured in these estimates. For example, tourists do not directly purchase some culture products, such as advertising or design services, but rather they consume the downstream products that these services support.

Additionally, tourism spending on non-culture and non-sport products that may occur from culture or sport activities is not included. For example, if a tourist decides to travel to see a play, the cost of the admission to the live performance and spending on other culture products will be captured. Other tourism spending, such as transportation and accommodation services, are not included. As such, this analysis does not quantify tourism spending that culture may generate for other tourism products such as transportation and accommodation.

These estimates were developed as an extension of the CSA and area joint initiative of Statistics Canada, other federal agencies, all provincial and territorial governments, as well as non-governmental organizations.


The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available. See section Tourism Spending on Culture and Sport Products.

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 available.

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

Contact information

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