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National tourism indicators, second quarter 2019

Released: 2019-09-26

Tourism spending in Canada rose 0.6% in the second quarter following a 0.5% gain in the first quarter. Growth in the second quarter was driven by increased spending by international visitors.

Tourism represented 2.0% of economy-wide gross domestic product (GDP) and 3.9% of Canadian jobs in the second quarter.

Tourism GDP rose 1.1%, a slightly faster pace than the economy-wide GDP (+0.9%), as growth in the accommodation and transportation industries increased. However, tourism jobs rose at a slower pace (+0.2%) compared with growth in jobs for the overall economy (+0.7%).

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada rises
Tourism spending in Canada rises

Tourism spending by Canadians edges up

Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada edged up 0.1% in the second quarter, following a 0.4% increase in the first quarter. It accounted for 78.4% of total tourism spending in Canada.

Accommodation (+0.7%), travel services (+1.2%) and pre-trip expenses (+1.0%), such as luggage and camping equipment, contributed to the increase, while non-tourism products (-0.6%), such as groceries and clothing, dampened the overall growth.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada edges up
Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada edges up

Spending by international visitors increases

Tourism spending by international visitors to Canada rose 2.4% in the second quarter, following a 0.6% increase in the previous quarter.

Growth was driven by accommodation (+3.0%), passenger air transport (+2.8%), food and beverage services (+2.4%), and non-tourism products (+1.4%).

Both overnight travel from abroad and same-day car travel from the United States increased in the second quarter.

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

Growth in tourism GDP accelerates

Tourism GDP rose 1.1% in the second quarter, following a 0.5% increase in the first quarter.

The increase in tourism GDP was largely due to gains in the accommodation (+2.2%) and transportation (+1.2%) industries, while other industries also posted growth.

Employment attributable to tourism rose 0.2% in the second quarter, following a 0.6% gain in the previous quarter. Increased employment in the recreation and entertainment (+0.6%) and food and beverage services (+0.5%) industries was partially offset by lower employment in the air transportation (-0.9%) industry.

Government revenue attributable to tourism increases in 2018 

In 2018, $28.9 billion of government revenue was directly attributable to tourism, up 4.3% from 2017. Domestic tourism spending accounted for 76.0% of this revenue, with the remainder coming from tourism exports.

Taxes on products sold to final consumers ($16.4 billion), such as the goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax, were the largest source of government revenue attributable to tourism, followed by corporate and individual income tax ($6.7 billion).

Most of the revenue generated from tourism was collected by the federal, provincial and territorial governments (95.2%). The remainder was collected by municipal and Aboriginal governments.

Every $100 spent by non-resident visitors generated, on average, $31.36 in government revenue, up from $31.00 in 2017. Resident visitors generated $27.81 in revenue for every $100 spent, compared with $27.45 the previous year. Overall, every $100 in tourism spending generated $28.30 in government revenue in 2018, down from $28.52 in 2017.



Sustainable development goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementing 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. Tourism's share of economy-wide GDP is calculated from seasonally adjusted nominal values. Tourism's share of economy-wide employment is calculated using seasonally adjusted values. Government revenue attributable to tourism is expressed in nominal terms. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Associated percentage changes are presented at quarterly rates unless otherwise noted.

Economy-wide GDP is obtained from table 36-10-0104-01. Economy-wide employment is obtained from table 36-10-0207-01.

The national tourism indicators are funded by Destination Canada.

Next release

Data on the national tourism indicators for the third quarter will be released on January 9, 2020.

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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