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Governments in Canada raise revenue from tourism through a variety of taxes and other means. When a tourist pays for a room in a hotel, this generates federal and provincial sales tax and room tax. In addition, income taxes are levied on the earnings of hotel employees and on the profits of the business. Finally, the hotel pays property taxes. Governments also obtain revenue directly from tourists, for example, through museum admission fees and park entrance fees. Information on how much revenue tourism generates for government, how much of it goes to each of the three levels of government, how much comes from the various sources, however, is not directly available. This study on the government revenue attributable to tourism is intended to fill this information gap.

This study includes time series updated to 2009. Previous estimates for 2003 to 2007 have also been revised. These revisions reflect the incorporation of new tourism ratios from the 2004 Canadian Tourism Satellite Account (CTSA), updated and revised information from the Canadian System of National Accounts (SNA) and the National Tourism Indicators (NTI). The study follows the same methodology and covers the same sources of revenue as before.1

Overall the incorporation of revised data from the SNA and updated tourism ratios from the CTSA and NTI raised the estimates of government revenue directly attributable to tourism for 2003, 2006-2007 while 2004-2005 estimates were revised downward. The revisions range from -$266 million (-1.5%) in 2005 to $173 million (+1.1%) in 2003. Larger revisions also occur at the more detailed level.

To outline the remainder of the report, the following section discusses the aim of the study and its scope in terms of the sources of revenue included. The next section presents an overview of the results focusing on the most recent reference year. These results rely on more aggregated, preliminary data and are not available by commodity or industry. The last section presents more detailed results for the year 2007. These are based on more comprehensive data by detailed industry and commodity. Discussion of the study's concepts and definitions, sources and methods, and the classification of tourism industries and tourism commodities are included in the appendices. Detailed results are available on request.


  1. See Government Revenue Attributable to Tourism, 2007, Statistics Canada catalogue no. 13-604-M, no. 60.
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