The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Leading indicator of cross-border traveller volume, May 2019

Released: 2019-06-11

Data indicating cross-border travel by automobile through land ports equipped with the automated Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) system are now available upon request.

The data provide counts of US residents entering Canada through IPIL ports in automobiles licensed in the United States, and Canadian residents returning from the United States through IPIL ports in automobiles licensed in Canada. Data are available by the travellers' state or province of residence and by province of entry into Canada. A traveller's state or province of residence is estimated from the licence plate of the automobile used to enter Canada.

The IPIL data exclude travellers who cross the border using a NEXUS card, those who cross through ports that are not equipped with the IPIL system and those whose crossing is recorded only on a paper E-62 Entry Tally. They also exclude US travellers in automobiles with Canadian licence plates and Canadian travellers in automobiles with US licence plates.

The value of the IPIL leading indicator is that it is produced in close to real time—within 10 days of the reference period. As the IPIL leading indicator data represent only a subset of the total number of Canadian and US residents entering Canada by automobile, they should not be compared directly with traveller data in Frontier Counts (Travel between Canada and other countries). They can, however, be used to make comparisons to previous IPIL leading indicator data to gain a timely understanding of trends in land border crossings into Canada.

  Note to readers

The number of travellers entering Canada is a key economic indicator of international trade and tourism growth. Most foreign travellers entering the country on any given day are from the United States and use an automobile as their mode of transportation.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) uses various data sources to collect information on travellers entering the country. The CBSA then provides the data to Statistics Canada, which processes and releases them six weeks after the end of the reference month. One of the CBSA's data sources, the Integrated Primary Inspection Line, yields data in an electronic format that requires less processing. These data account for the largest share of travellers entering Canada by automobile.

Starting with the release of October 2016, data are available in formats that provide more detail on the entries of persons from each American state. Data in these new formats for the months since January 2015 are available upon request. Data on the number of Canadian residents returning from the United States were introduced in January 2018.

Data users making comparisons between the data for April 2018 and April 2019 are advised that the entirety of the Easter weekend took place in April in 2019, compared with March and April in 2018 (Easter Sunday was April 1, 2018).

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;

Date modified: