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National tourism indicators, first quarter 2023

Released: 2023-06-29

Tourism spending in Canada grew 2.6% in the first quarter, due to an increase of 3.5% in domestic tourism spending by Canadian residents. Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) (+2.3%) and jobs attributable to tourism (+2.7%) also rose in the first quarter.

Passenger air transport (+2.9%) contributed the most to the growth in tourism spending in the first quarter, followed by food and beverage (+4.7%) and accommodation (+2.2%) services. As a result of this continued overall growth, tourism spending rose to 86.7% of its level in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending increases
Tourism spending increases

Tourism GDP grew 2.3% in the first quarter of 2023, the same growth rate as the fourth quarter of 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, food and beverage (+4.3%) and accommodation (+2.1%) services industries were the largest contributors to the growth. With economy-wide GDP increasing 0.8% in the first quarter, tourism's share of GDP rose 0.04 percentage points to 1.65%. Overall, tourism GDP was 84.4% of its pre-pandemic level.

Employment attributable to tourism rose 2.7% in the first quarter of 2023, following an increase of 1.4% in the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2023, food and beverage (+3.6%) and accommodation (+3.2%) services industries were the largest contributors to the growth. Economy-wide employment increased 1.7% in the first quarter. As a result, tourism's share of employment grew to 3.30%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Tourism gross domestic product and jobs attributable to tourism rise
Tourism gross domestic product and jobs attributable to tourism rise

Tourism spending in Canada by Canadians rises

Tourism spending in Canada by Canadians increased 3.5% in the first quarter of 2023, following a 1.3% decline in the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2023, increased spending on passenger air transport (+4.6%), food and beverage (+6.1%) and accommodation (+4.4%) services contributed most to the rise.

Spending by international visitors edges down

Tourism spending by international visitors edged down 0.1% in the first quarter of 2023, after double-digit increases in each of the last three quarters of 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, declines in passenger air transport (-3.2%) and accommodation services (-0.6%) were mostly offset by growth in non-tourism products (+2.7%), vehicle fuel (+7.5%) and vehicle repairs and parts (+6.8%). Overnight travel by non-residents declined 0.4%, while same-day travel by non-residents increased 10.5%.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Share of tourism spending by international visitors declines
Share of tourism spending by international visitors declines


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 the 2012 reference year, 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.

Economy-wide GDP is obtained from table 36-10-0104-01. Economy-wide employment is obtained from table 36-10-0207-01. Overnight travel by non-residents and same-day travel by non-residents are obtained from table 24-10-0054-01.

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

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

Non-tourism industries, also referred to as other industries, are industries that would continue to exist in the absence of tourism. For example, the crop production and petroleum refineries industries produce products purchased by tourists. However, neither would cease to exist in the absence of tourism. Tourism GDP takes into account the production of these products purchased by tourists.

Non-tourism products, also referred to as other products, are products for which a significant part of its total demand in Canada does not come from visitors, such as groceries, clothing and alcohol bought in stores.

With the first quarter 2023 release of the national tourism indicators, all data from the first quarter of 2022 to the fourth quarter of 2022 have been revised.

The national tourism indicators are funded by Destination Canada.

Next release

Data on the national tourism indicators for the second quarter will be released on September 28.

Products

The Economic accounts statistics portal, accessible from the Subjects module of the Statistics Canada website, features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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