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Travel between Canada and other countries, July 2020

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Released: 2020-09-23


International travel to and from Canada remained low throughout July, as travel restrictions were in effect for the fourth full month since they were first introduced in March.

In July, the number of Canadian residents returning from the United States or from travel overseas was about 95% lower than in July 2019.

Travel to Canada from both the United States and overseas countries was down roughly 97% year over year.

July marks the fourth full month of travel restrictions

International travel remained low throughout July, as travel restrictions were in effect for the fourth full month since March.

Travel across the Canada–US border was flat throughout July, with restrictions on non-essential travel in force since March 21. As a result, the number of trips across the Canada–US border fell from 7.9 million in July 2019 to 347,100.

Despite this annual decline, travel across the border was up 11.1% from June—the third consecutive increase from the record low in April, the first full month of border restrictions.

Overseas travel to Canada remains flat

Travel from overseas (countries other than the United States) to Canada remained low in July compared with the same month last year. Overall, arrivals to Canada from overseas countries fell 97.4%, from 1.1 million to 28,400.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom, the top source of overseas travel to Canada, fell from 141,200 in July 2019 to 2,200 this July. Arrivals from China, the second-largest source, decreased from 104,000 to 1,400, while arrivals from France declined from 106,100 to 2,000.

The largest relative year-over-year declines in arrivals from overseas countries in July were in Yukon (-100.0%), Nova Scotia (-99.4%) and Alberta (-99.2%).

Air travel from the United States more affected than car travel

US residents made 113,400 total trips to Canada in July, down 96.9% from July a year earlier. However, compared with June, arrivals from the United States were up 11.6%.

Air travel from the United States to Canada fell 98.5% year over year to 11,000 arrivals in July. Despite traveller screening and other COVID-19 precautions, the number of trips has crept up from the record low in April, when 2,800 US residents entered Canada by plane.

Car arrivals, which accounted for 88.5% of all travel from the United States in July, fell 95.8% year over year to 100,400. Over two-thirds of these automobile trips were same-day car crossings (69.1%).

Car travel from the United States was down in every province year over year, led by Quebec (-97.0%), New Brunswick (-96.6%) and Ontario (-96.2%).

Number of Canadians returning from the United States remains low

Canadian residents made 233,700 return trips from the United States in July, down 94.6% from 4.3 million in July 2019. This was, however, up 10.8% from 210,800 trips in June and the fourth increase since April.

In July, the vast majority (205,400) of return trips from the United States were made by car, down 94.1% from the same month a year earlier. Of these, 176,300 were same-day car trips, down 91.6% from July 2019.

Year over year, Yukon (-99.0%), British Columbia (-98.1%) and Quebec (-97.7%) reported the largest percentage decreases in car trips.

The number of Canadian residents returning from trips to the United States by plane decreased by 96.1% year over year to 26,200 trips in July, but increased from the 16,200 taken in June.

Travel by Canadians overseas remains low

The number of Canadian residents returning from trips overseas declined 93.9% year over year, from 869,100 in July 2019 to 53,300.

  Note to readers

Statistics Canada's Frontier Counts program uses administrative data from the Canada Border Services Agency on all international travellers who have been cleared for entry or re-entry into Canada. This includes residents of Canada, the United States and overseas countries.

Unlike releases prior to April 2020, this release is based on unadjusted data (not seasonally adjusted) to emphasize the change in actual volumes. However, seasonally adjusted data are available in the tables. With the unusually small travel volumes reported since April, future revisions to seasonally adjusted data for 2020 are expected to be larger than usual and may impact monthly movements in the series.

Seasonally adjusted data for March 2020 to June 2020 have been revised.

For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Overseas countries refer to countries other than the United States.

A Canadian resident traveller is a Canadian resident who has travelled outside Canada for a period of less than 12 months.

A non-resident traveller is a resident of a country other than Canada who is travelling to Canada for a period of less than 12 months.

An overnight traveller or a tourist is a traveller whose trip includes one or more nights' stay.


The July 2020 issue of International Travel, Advance Information, Vol. 36, no. 7 (Catalogue number66-001-P), is now available.

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