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National Travel Survey, fourth quarter 2023

Released: 2024-05-24


For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, both Canadian-resident trips and expenses exceeded those recorded in 2019. During the fourth quarter of 2023, Canadian residents took 74.6 million trips, up 7.1 million from the same quarter of 2022 (67.6 million). Most (88.3%) of the fourth quarter of 2023 trips were domestic. Canadian residents spent $14.6 billion on domestic travel and $11.1 billion on travel outside the country.

Domestic travel

In the fourth quarter, Canadian residents took 65.9 million domestic trips, up 8.1% from the fourth quarter of 2022 (60.9 million) and exceeding such trips recorded in the same quarter in 2019 (62.6 million), before the pandemic, by 5.3%. The number of domestic overnight trips was 20.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, while same-day trips totalled 45.3 million.

From October to December, Canadian residents spent $14.6 billion on domestic travel, up 0.8% from the fourth quarter of 2022 ($14.5 billion) and increasing 26.1% from the same period in 2019 ($11.6 billion).

Average domestic trip spending was $222 ($112 for same-day and $465 for overnight) in the fourth quarter of 2023. The top three domestic trip expenditure categories were vehicle operations ($3.0 billion), accommodations ($2.6 billion), and spending in restaurants and bars ($2.5 billion).

Travel to the United States

Canadian residents took 6.3 million trips to the United States from October to December, up 21.6% from the same period in 2022 (5.2 million) and exceeding such trips taken the same quarter in 2019 (6.3 million) by 0.2%. The most reported purposes for trips to the United States in the fourth quarter of 2023 were holiday, leisure, or recreation (2.9 million) and visiting friends or relatives (1.4 million).

Total travel expenditures by Canadian residents in the United States reached $6.0 billion in the fourth quarter, exceeding travel expenditures during the same quarter of 2022 ($5.8 billion) by 5.1% and of 2019 ($5.1 billion) by 17.7%.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Canadian residents spent an average of $954 per trip, and the average length of trips to the United States was 3.8 nights. Spending was highest on accommodations ($2.3 billion) and in restaurants and bars ($1.2 billion).

Overseas travel

From October to December, Canadian residents returned from 2.4 million trips overseas. This was up 69.7% from the 1.4 million trips taken in the fourth quarter of 2022 and exceeded the trips taken during the same quarter of 2019 (2.4 million) by 1.0%. Most Canadian residents reported travelling overseas for holiday, leisure, or recreational purposes (1.6 million) and to visit friends or relatives (573,700) in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Canadian visitors spent $5.0 billion overseas in the fourth quarter, up 74.1% from the same quarter in 2022 ($2.9 billion) and 31.6% from the same quarter in 2019 ($3.8 billion). In the fourth quarter of 2023, Canadian residents spent the most on accommodations ($2.3 billion) and in restaurants and bars ($1.1 billion) while travelling overseas.

Mexico (411,100 visits), the Dominican Republic (222,900), and France (180,000) were the top three overseas countries Canadian residents visited during the fourth quarter.

Year in review, 2023 

In 2023, Canadian residents took a total of 319.1 million trips—285.1 million domestic and 34.0 million abroad. This amounted to an increase of 13.4% from the total trips taken in 2022 (281.3 million) and of 1.9% from 2019 (313.3 million).

Throughout 2023, Canadian residents spent $73.5 billion while travelling domestically and $47.0 billion while travelling abroad, resulting in total tourism expenditures of $120.4 billion. This spending exceeded the 2022 level of total tourism expenditures ($101.1 billion) by 19.1% and the 2019 level ($97.5 billion) by 23.5%.

Cruise expenditures abroad increased from $333.9 million in 2022 to $671.3 million in 2023.

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  Note to readers

The National Travel Survey collects information about the domestic and international travel of Canadian residents.

All spending estimates are based on visit expenditures; domestic visit expenditures include commercial air expenditures incurred at the point of origin of the trip.

Please note that to increase data accuracy, adjustments to expenditure checks have been applied to the third and fourth quarters of 2023 to increase minimums and/or maximums of the following spending categories: Accommodation, Sports and recreational activities, Cultural or entertainment activities, and Other purchases.

The target population is the civilian, non-institutionalized population 18 years of age and older in Canada's provinces, excluding people living on Indian reserves and in the territories. Routine trips taken by commuters and diplomatic or military personnel are out of scope.

Domestic trips are made by travellers residing in Canada who travelled inside Canada for a period of less than 12 months before returning to their place of residence.

Same-day trips or visits take place within the same calendar day—that is, the traveller left and returned home on the same day—and must be a distance of 40 km or more away (one way).

Trips abroad are made by travellers residing in Canada who travelled outside Canada for a period of less than 12 months before returning to Canada. Foreign citizens who are residing in Canada and travel abroad are included as Canadian resident travellers.

A trip abroad for people residing in Canada starts when they cross the border to exit Canada and ends when they first re-enter Canada.

Trips and visits: A trip can consist of one or more visits. A Canadian traveller on a trip abroad may cross into several countries or US states before being recorded as having re-entered Canada. Each of these crossings represents a visit. Similarly, a Canadian resident travelling in Canada may stay in several locations during their trip. Each stay at a Canadian location (for example, a province) within a given trip represents a visit.

Recent data on international travel by Canadian residents are available from the monthly "Travel between Canada and other countries." To explore current and historical data on arrivals in Canada, in an interactive format, please visit the Frontier Counts: Interactive Dashboard.


Data from the fourth quarter of 2023 from the National Travel Survey are now available. Other tables, including statistical profiles of Canadian travellers, are available upon request.

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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