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National tourism indicators, third quarter 2018

Released: 2019-01-10

Tourism spending in Canada

$24.0 billion

Third quarter 2018

0.8% increase

(quarterly change)

Tourism spending in Canada rose 0.8% in the third quarter, following a 1.1% gain in the second. Increased tourism spending by Canadians at home more than offset decreased spending by international visitors in Canada.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada grows
Tourism spending in Canada grows

Tourism spending by Canadians increases

Tourism spending by Canadians at home rose 1.3% in the third quarter, following a 2.1% increase the previous quarter.

Canadians spent more on accommodation (+5.3%) and passenger air transport (+2.3%), the two main contributors to the increase, while food and beverage services (+1.6%) and non-tourism products (+1.4%) such as groceries and clothing also rose. Decreased spending on fuel (-0.9%) and recreation and entertainment (-2.4%) partially offset the rise.

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

Tourism spending by international visitors decreases

Tourism spending by international visitors to Canada fell 1.1% in the third quarter, following a 2.7% decline in the second quarter.

Outlays on passenger air transport (-2.2%), accommodation (-1.1%) and food and beverage services (-1.2%) were all lower.

Overnight travel from abroad declined, while same-day car travel from the United States increased.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Tourism spending by international visitors in Canada decreases
Tourism spending by international visitors in Canada decreases

Tourism gross domestic product increases

Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.6% in the third quarter, following a 1.0% increase the previous quarter. By comparison, economy-wide GDP increased 0.5% in the third quarter.

Accommodation (+1.7%), transportation (+1.2%) and food and beverage services (+0.9%) industries were the main contributors to the economic growth in tourism. The rise was partially offset by declines in other tourism industries (-0.6%), which include recreation and entertainment and travel services, and other industries (-0.4%).

Tourism employment grew 0.4%, matching the pace of the second quarter. Tourism jobs increased in air transportation (+4.7%) and food and beverage services (+0.9%) and declined in recreation and entertainment (-1.6%).


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 (GDP) are expressed in real terms (that is, adjusted for price changes), using reference year 2012, 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.

With the third quarter of 2018 release of the national tourism indicators, all data for 2015, 2016, 2017 and the first and second quarters of 2018 have been revised.

In addition, all data series expressed at 2007 prices (adjusted for inflation) have been rebased to the 2012 reference year. This is in line with the volume and price data published in the third quarter 2018 release of the national income and expenditure accounts. This change affects national tourism indicators data adjusted for inflation from 1986 to date. The existing identifiers for the constant price data have been retained.

Economy-wide GDP is obtained from Table 36-10-0104-01.

The national tourism indicators are funded by Destination Canada.

Next release

Data on the national tourism indicators for the fourth quarter of 2018 will be released on March 28, 2019.

Products

The data visualization product "Provincial and Territorial Tourism Satellite Account," which is part of Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X), is available.

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.

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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