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Travel between Canada and other countries, November 2020

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Released: 2021-01-22


The number of travellers to Canada from both the United States and overseas countries was down 92.9% in November, compared with November 2019. Similarly, the number of Canadian residents returning from abroad fell sharply (-92.1%) year over year.

This is due to restrictions on non-essential travel into Canada, which remained in effect in November, as did the mandatory 14-day quarantine for Canadians returning from abroad.

Travel restrictions continue

Restrictions on non-essential travel to and from Canada, which initially took effect in mid-March, have been in place for 10 months. With a second wave of the pandemic currently affecting many parts of the world, it is likely the restrictions will be extended to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Overseas travel to Canada remains low

The number of travellers to Canada from overseas (countries other than the United States) dropped 91.1% year over year to 28,700 in November.

Travel originating in Europe (-92.3%) and Asia (-89.2%), Canada's largest markets, were down significantly compared with the same month a year earlier.

Compared with November 2019, the number of trips from China—the leading source market for travel from Asia—decreased from 29,800 to 1,800 in November 2020.

As for travel from Europe, there were 2,400 arrivals from the United Kingdom in November and 1,600 from France.

Travel from other major markets also remained low throughout November.

Ontario (-149,800), British Columbia (-78,600) and Quebec (-52,700) recorded the largest absolute year-over-year declines in the number of overseas travellers in November.

Fewer arrivals from the United States

In November, US residents took 98,400 trips to Canada, down 93.3% from the same month a year earlier. The number of US residents arriving by plane declined 95.9% year over year to 14,100 in November.

Car arrivals dropped 92.1% year over year to 83,300 in November. Almost three-quarters (61,700) of these car trips were same-day trips, while overnight car arrivals (21,600) were down 95.2% from November 2019.

While every province recorded a decrease in arrivals from the United States in November, Ontario (-778,000) saw the largest absolute decline, followed by British Columbia (-317,400) and Quebec (-160,500).

Fewer Canadians returning from the United States

Canadian residents made 252,600 return trips from the United States in November, down 92.3% from November 2019.

Car arrivals, which accounted for approximately 8 in 10 of these trips, fell 91.5% year over year to 196,600. Of these, 169,600 were same-day trips, down 89.8%.

Meanwhile, air arrivals dropped 93.8% year over year to 54,500. Despite provincial measures, including health screenings and a mandatory quarantine, the number of Canadians returning from the United States by plane increased 29.0% to 42,200 from October.

Ontario (-1.5 million), British Columbia (-808,300) and Quebec (-270,800) posted the largest absolute year-over-year declines in return trips by Canadians from the United States.

Fewer Canadians returning from overseas

In November, 73,200 Canadian residents returned home from travel overseas, up slightly from October, but down 91.3% compared with November 2019.

  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.

Since April 2020, releases have been based on seasonally unadjusted data to emphasize the change in actual volumes. However, seasonally adjusted data are available in some tables. With the unusually low 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 August to October 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 tourist is a traveller whose trip includes one or more nights' stay.


The November 2020 issue of International Travel, Advance Information, Vol. 36, no. 11 (Catalogue number66-001-P), is now available.

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