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Provincial and territorial tourism satellite account, 2014

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Released: 2018-10-10

Tourism activity varied noticeably across provinces and territories in 2014, with its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) ranging from 1.2% in Nunavut to 3.0% in Prince Edward Island. Nationally, tourists spent $84.1 billion in Canada, contributing to 1.9% ($35.0 billion) of GDP.

About three quarters of tourism activity in Canada was concentrated in the country's three largest tourism economies: Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. This held true for tourism GDP, employment and expenditures. The source of tourism spending was similar in Ontario and Quebec, with domestic spending twice as high as interprovincial and international exports combined. However, British Columbia relied more heavily on international exports, with its share of spending at 36.7%.

Domestic demand includes spending in a province or a territory by residents of that province or territory. Interprovincial demand, or interprovincial exports, include spending in a province or territory by residents of another province or territory. International demand, or international exports, include spending by international visitors.

Tourism's share of employment was highest in Yukon (7.5%) and lowest in Nunavut (1.9%). There were 642,900 tourism jobs in Canada, which represented about 3.6% of all jobs.

Tourism's contribution to employment was higher than its contribution to GDP in all provinces and territories. This is due to the reliance of several tourism industries on part-time, temporary, lower-paying jobs, especially in the food and beverage services industry.

Domestic demand was the predominant source of tourism spending in 10 of the 13 jurisdictions. The share of domestic demand was highest in Saskatchewan (74.3%) and Quebec (70.4%). In contrast, the share was lowest in Prince Edward Island (24.0%), which relies more heavily on tourism exports (interprovincial and international combined). Nationally, domestic demand was $51.7 billion.

Interprovincial exports had the highest share in Prince Edward Island (53.2%) and Yukon (38.9%). The lowest shares of interprovincial exports were in Nunavut (5.5%) and Quebec (10.4%). Nationally, interprovincial demand was $12.7 billion.

International exports were $19.8 billion nationally, and were the leading contributor to tourism demand in Yukon only.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Tourism's share of GDP was 1.3% in Newfoundland and Labrador, with its contribution to employment at 3.3%. Tourism demand was $1.1 billion, with 56.8% attributable to domestic tourism. Spending by international visitors accounted for 9.1% of the province's tourism spending, the second lowest share of all jurisdictions.

Prince Edward Island

Tourism's share of GDP was 3.0% in Prince Edward Island, the highest of all provinces and territories. Tourism expenditures were $406.4 million, more than half coming from other provinces and territories. Tourism jobs accounted for 6.7% of all jobs.

Nova Scotia

GDP attributable to tourism demand was 2.3% in Nova Scotia, while tourism was responsible for 4.2% of employment. Tourism spending was $2.1 billion, with half coming from domestic tourism and the remainder split between interprovincial and international exports.

New Brunswick

Tourism's share of GDP was 1.7% in New Brunswick, with its share of employment at 3.3%. Tourism demand was $1.3 billion, with 54.7% attributable to domestic tourism spending.


Tourism's contribution to GDP was 2.1% in Quebec, while its contribution to employment was 3.5%. Tourism spending was $17.6 billion, with 70.4% coming from domestic demand, the second highest among all provinces and territories.


Tourism's share of GDP was 1.8% in Ontario, while its share of employment was 3.2%. Tourism expenditures were $29.9 billion, with two out of every three dollars spent by Ontario residents. About one third of tourism activity in Canada occurred in Ontario.


Tourism's share of GDP was 1.6% in Manitoba, while its share of employment was 2.8%. Tourists spent $2.5 billion, with $1.6 billion from domestic tourism.


Tourism's contribution to GDP was 1.3% in Saskatchewan, with its share of employment at 3.2%. Tourism spending was $2.3 billion, with nearly three quarters coming from Saskatchewan residents, the highest share among all provinces and territories. Conversely, only 8.1% of the province's tourism demand came from international visitors, the lowest among all jurisdictions.


Tourism's contribution to GDP was 1.4% in Alberta, with its share of employment at 3.2%. Tourism demand was $11.1 billion. Tourism activity in Alberta—in terms of GDP, employment and expenditures—was the fourth highest among all provinces and territories.

British Columbia

Tourism's share of GDP was 2.9% in British Columbia, with its share of employment at 5.1%. Tourism spending was $15.3 billion, with its share attributable to international exports at 36.7%, the highest among provinces (but behind Yukon and Nunavut).


Tourism's share of employment in Yukon, at 7.5%, was the highest of all provinces and territories, while its share of GDP was at 2.7%. Tourism expenditures were $181.8 million, with more than half (58.6%) coming from international visitors.

Northwest Territories

Tourism's share of GDP and employment were 1.7% and 4.7%, respectively. Tourism spending was $230.0 million, with the largest share (38.9%) coming from residents of other provinces and territories.


Tourism's share of GDP was 1.2% in Nunavut, the lowest of all provinces and territories. Its share of employment was 1.9%. Tourism demand was $71.2 million, with only 5.5% coming from residents of other provinces and territories.

  Note to readers

The Provincial and Territorial Tourism Satellite Account provides an economic measure of the importance of tourism in terms of expenditures, gross domestic product and employment for each of the provinces and territories. It permits a comparison of tourism with other industries within a province or territory since the concepts and methods used are based on the framework of the Canadian System of National Accounts.

The Tourism Satellite Account has become the internationally accepted framework by which to measure tourism activity in an economy. It follows the international guidelines adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission and is rooted in the Canadian System of National Accounts.

The Tourism Satellite Account provides a coherent framework within which to integrate and analyse economic statistics relevant to tourism, both on the supply (i.e., industry) side and on the demand (i.e., tourist) side. It also defines what are considered to be the tourism commodities and the tourism industries, and consequently has helped to shape the development of tourism statistics in Canada and in the provinces and territories.


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

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