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Travel between Canada and other countries, December 2022

Released: 2023-02-22


In December, while the number of international arrivals to Canada—non-resident visitors and returning Canadians—continued to increase, travel remained at less than three-quarters (71.1%) of 2019 levels, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents of overseas countries took almost twice as many trips to Canada in December 2022 compared with the same month in 2021, and nearly three-quarters (74.6%) of the trips taken in December 2019.

US residents took over 1.2 million trips to Canada in December 2022, more than double the number of trips taken in December 2021, and 71.9% of those taken in December 2019, before the pandemic.

Canadian residents returned from 3.1 million trips abroad in December 2022, nearly twice the number from December 2021 and over two-thirds (70.4%) of the pre-pandemic December 2019 level. The number of Canadian residents returning from the United States by air has now exceeded its pre-pandemic level.

For more current estimates of international arrivals to Canada, please see the "Leading indicator of international arrivals to Canada" for the January 2023 reference month.

Holiday travel upended as winter storms surge

The travel sector faced new challenges in December 2022 due to winter storms that impacted Canada and the United States. On December 22, for instance, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued several warnings and special weather statements urging against all non-essential travel by all modes.

Winter storms hit Canada coast-to-coast just as holiday travel was surging, causing many delays and cancelled flights. This left many air travellers stranded over the peak holiday travel period and may have dissuaded others from taking cross-border trips by motor vehicle.

Overseas visitors to Canada

In December, 368,400 overseas residents arrived in Canada, nearly double the 211,100 such arrivals in December 2021 and three-quarters (74.6%) of such arrivals during the same month in 2019. This recovery was up from November (71.7%) and the highest level reached since the onset of the pandemic.

In December, over two-fifths (149,600) of overseas visitors arrived from Europe (up from 107,900 in 2021), reaching 82.3% of the pre-pandemic level. However, recovery of the Asian market continued to lag, with 78,800 residents arriving in December 2022, roughly half (50.2%) of the number from the same month in 2019.

US-resident trips to Canada

In December, US residents took over 1.2 million trips to Canada, over twice as many trips as in December 2021 (550,300) and 71.9% of the trips taken during the same month in 2019.

Of the total arrivals in December, 868,600 were by automobile, 46.2% (401,000) of which were same-day returns. This total was an increase from the 374,200 arrivals by automobile in December 2021.

Canadian-resident trips to the United States

Canadian residents returned from over 2.5 million trips to the United States in December, more than double that of December 2021 (1.1 million) and 73.0% of the pre-pandemic level from the same month in 2019. The rate of recovery in December was lower than the 78.4% recorded in November 2022.

Of the total return trips by Canadian residents in December, 1.5 million trips were by automobile, over two-thirds (69.5%) of which were same-day. The number of trips returning by air was 924,000, higher (+8.3%) than the same month in 2019, exceeding the pre-pandemic level for the fourth straight month.

Canadian residents travelling overseas

In December, 614,400 Canadian residents returned from visiting overseas, up by more than 111,000 from the same month in 2021. Trips overseas in December 2022 recovered just over three-fifths (61.9%) of the same level observed in 2019, slightly higher than the rate of recovery in November 2022 (60.3%).

2022 in review

After 2021 ended with a steady recovery in the number of international arrivals, travel between Canada and other countries stalled in January 2022 with the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant as the Government of Canada reimplemented certain travel restrictions.

In February, easing of restrictions started and continued through the year. On October 1, all COVID-19 border restrictions, including vaccination, mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app as well as any testing and quarantine requirements, were removed for all travellers entering Canada by land, air, or sea.

In 2022, Canada had 49.9 million total international arrivals—non-resident visitors and returning residents—over four times those from 2021 and reaching well over half (56.3%) of the number of arrivals in 2019.

The 14.0 million US residents and 4.0 million overseas residents were both more than four times the arrivals recorded in 2021, and over half (55.9% and 53.0%, respectively) of the 2019 level.

The number of Canadian residents returning from visiting abroad was 32.0 million in 2022, over four times the 2021 volume and representing 56.9% of the pre-pandemic 2019 level.

  Note to readers

Statistics Canada's Frontier Counts program uses Canada Border Services Agency administrative data gathered from all international travellers who have been cleared for entry or re-entry into Canada.

Starting with the January 2022 release, all estimates, including those in Table 1, are based on unadjusted counts only. Seasonally adjusted data continue to be available online in tables 24-10-0051-01 and 24-10-0054-01.

Seasonally adjusted data from January 2022 to November 2022 have been revised. No revisions were made to data that were not seasonally adjusted.

Elements of Statistics Canada's Frontier Counts program were modified in January 2022. For example, travellers arriving by commercial air with a trip duration of one year or more and workers are now excluded from the visitor counts. Although these changes should not have a significant impact on total estimates, readers are encouraged to review the concepts, definitions, data sources and methods for Frontier Counts, as well as the explanatory notes for the online tables, especially when making historical comparisons and examining specific regions.

Overseas countries refer to countries other than Canada or the United States.

A Canadian resident visitor is a Canadian resident traveller whose trip purpose outside Canada is related to tourism and whose trip duration is less than one year.

A non-resident visitor is a traveller to Canada whose country of residence is not Canada, whose trip purpose is related to tourism and whose trip duration is less than one year.


The December 2022 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; or Media Relations (

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