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Travel between Canada and other countries, October 2021

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Released: 2021-12-22

Highlights

The number of international arrivals to Canada continued to increase during October, but remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

While travellers from overseas countries made 160,700 trips to Canada in October, nearly six times more compared with the same month a year earlier, it was over one-quarter (28.3%) of the pre-pandemic levels from October 2019.

In October 2021, there were 488,600 American residents travelling to Canada, over four times greater than in October 2020, yet this was 26.4% of the same month in 2019.

Canadians made a total of 858,200 return trips home from abroad in October, two and a half times compared with the same month in 2020 but one-fifth (20.0%) of October 2019 levels.

Borders opening but restrictions looming

The federal government opened Canada's borders to all fully vaccinated international travellers on September 7, 2021. However, effective October 30, 2021, all air passengers departing from Canadian airports are required to be fully vaccinated in order to travel.

In late November 2021, the World Health Organization declared a new variant of concern, Omicron, prompting Canada to implement new travel restrictions. The data in this release do not yet reflect these new travel restrictions.

Overseas arrivals up in October

With testing and quarantine no longer required for fully vaccinated international travellers, 160,700 overseas residents arrived in Canada in October 2021. This was a slight increase of 4.8% from September 2021, and the highest number of overseas travellers arriving in Canada since the pandemic began in March 2020. While this is nearly six times the number of arrivals in October 2020, it is well below the 568,500 overseas residents who entered Canada during the same month in 2019.

The number of travellers originating from Europe increased sharply from 8,500 in October 2020 to 91,400 in October 2021. It was, however, down from the 250,000 arrivals in October 2019. While arrivals from Asia were up year over year from 13,200 in October 2020 to 39,000 in October 2021, this was still below the pre-pandemic level of October 2019. Travellers from other major markets also remained low throughout October 2021.

More Americans continue crossing into Canada

In October, US residents took 488,600 trips to Canada, up from 112,500 in October 2020. However, this represents just over one-quarter (26.4%) of the 1.9 million such trips made in October 2019.

There were 355,900 American residents who arrived by car in October, with 39.0% (138,700) making a same-day return. While up from 98,300 in October 2020, American arrivals by car during October 2021 were less than one-third (28.9%) of the 1.2 million arrivals in October 2019.

US visits by Canadians more than double

The number of Canadian residents returning from the United States in October 2021 was 556,800, more than double in October 2020 (269,000), but far below the 3.5 million Canadians who returned to Canada in October 2019.

Of the 297,400 Canadians who returned by car, 72,000 more than in October 2020, the vast majority (233,400) were same-day. Total car arrivals were 11.6% of the 2.6 million return trips by car that Canadian residents took in October 2019.

Finally, the number of Canadians flying back from the United States rose from 42,200 in October 2020 to 253,500 in October 2021. However, this was just under one-third (31.1%) of the 815,500 returning Canadians the same month in 2019, before the pandemic.

More Canadians returning home from overseas

In October, 301,400 Canadian residents returned home from travel overseas, more than four times the number in October 2020 (72,300), but less than two-fifths (38.1%) of the 790,400 returning Canadians in October 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.

Since April 2020, releases have been based on unadjusted data (not seasonally adjusted) to emphasize the change in actual volumes.

Seasonally adjusted data for January to September 2021 have been revised.

Overseas countries refer to countries other than the United States.

A Canadian resident traveller is a Canadian resident who 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 travelled 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.

Products

The October 2021 issue of International Travel: Advance Information (Catalogue number66-001-P) is now 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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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