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Leading indicator of international arrivals to Canada, October 2023

Released: 2023-11-14

Highlights

In October 2023, the number of international arrivals to Canada, including non-resident trips and returning Canadian-resident trips, increased from October 2022. The recovery rates for most indicators were up from October 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of non-resident arrivals at Canadian airports equipped with electronic sensors totalled 744,400 in October 2023, up 30.6% from October 2022. Meanwhile, the number of Canadian-resident return trips from abroad reached 1.4 million, an 18.4% increase from October 2022.

In October 2023, US-resident trips to Canada through land ports with electronic sensors stood at 943,100, up 12.5% from the same month in 2022. Moreover, the number of Canadian-resident return trips from the United States via the same land ports rose 18.9% year over year to 1.9 million trips in October 2023.

To further explore current and historical data in an interactive format, please visit the Frontier Counts: Interactive Dashboard.

Non-resident trips to Canada by air

In October, non-resident arrivals at Canadian airports equipped with Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIKs) totalled 744,400, up 30.6% from October 2022. These include both arrivals from overseas countries (392,900) and from the United States (351,500).

When data from Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 are excluded from the total arrivals (see Note to readers), non-resident arrivals in October 2023 represented 92.1% of their October 2019 pre-pandemic volume. This was up from the 87.0% recovery rate observed in September 2023.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Non-resident trips to Canada by commercial aircraft, October, 2019 to 2023
Non-resident trips to Canada by commercial aircraft, October, 2019 to 2023

US-resident trips to Canada by automobile

In October, the number of US-resident trips entering Canada by automobile through land ports equipped with the Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) application reached 943,100, up from 838,500 trips recorded in October 2022. The number of arrivals by automobile in October 2023 represented 88.4% of the number of arrivals observed in October 2019. This was below the 96.5% recovery rate posted in September 2023.

Chart 2  Chart 2: United States-resident trips to Canada by automobile, October, 2019 to 2023
United States-resident trips to Canada by automobile, October, 2019 to 2023

Canadian-resident return trips by air

In October, Canadian-resident return trips from abroad through airports equipped with PIKs stood at 1.4 million, up 18.4% from October 2022.

When arrivals at Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 are excluded from the total arrivals (see Note to readers), the number of return trips in October 2023 was 9.3% higher than the pre-pandemic level observed in October 2019. This was up from the 100.0% recovery rate observed in September 2023.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Canadian-resident return trips from abroad by commercial aircraft, October, 2019 to 2023
Canadian-resident return trips from abroad by commercial aircraft, October, 2019 to 2023

Canadian-resident return trips by automobile

In October, the number of Canadian-resident return trips by automobile from visiting the United States via IPIL-equipped land ports totalled 1.9 million, compared with 1.6 million trips the same month a year earlier, representing an 18.9% increase.

In October 2023, the recovery rate of Canadian-resident return trips by automobile was 90.6% of the 2.1 million trips observed in the same month in 2019. This was up from the 85.8% recovery rate posted in September 2023.

On October 9, for Thanksgiving Monday, there were 153,800 Canadian-resident return trips taken by automobile to the United States. This was more than two and a half times the average arrivals (59,900) of the other Mondays in October 2023. In 2022, a similar pattern was observed on Thanksgiving Monday where nearly three times as many such arrivals (128,900) were posted, compared with the average of the other Mondays in October 2022 (44,500).

Chart 4  Chart 4: Canadian-resident return trips from the United States by automobile, October, 2019 to 2023
Canadian-resident return trips from the United States by automobile, October, 2019 to 2023

  Note to readers

This release provides a first glimpse of international arrivals to Canada in October 2023. Complete counts for the October reference month will be available with the release of "Travel between Canada and other countries" on December 21, 2023.

All counts of arrivals by air are from commercial aircraft and are produced exclusively using Primary Inspection Kiosk (PIK) data. PIKs were deployed at Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 on June 22, 2021, and, as of July 2021, these arrivals are included in the total counts, which has consequently improved coverage. In 2022, PIKs captured approximately 92% of all commercial air arrivals.

Counts of arrivals entering the country by automobile through land ports equipped with the automated Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) system represent a subset of US-resident trips and Canadian-resident return trips by automobile. In 2022, IPIL land ports captured approximately 89% of all automobile entries.

In January 2022, some IPIL ports switched mode from land to water. In 2019, arrivals at these ports accounted for a small fraction (0.7%) of all arrivals entering or returning to Canada by automobile.

Readers are encouraged to review the concepts, definitions, data sources and methods for Frontier Counts, especially when making historical comparisons and examining specific regions.

Selective estimates from the Canadian Tourism Activity Tracker for August 2023 are available upon request.

Products

The product "Frontier Counts: Interactive Dashboard," part of the Data Visualization Products series (Catalogue number71-607-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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