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  • Tourism industries in the Human Resource Module (HRM) include five industry groups which are defined as follows: transportation, accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment and travel services. Generally speaking, an industry is considered a tourism industry if it would cease to exist, or continue to exist only at a significantly reduced level of activity, as a direct result of the absence of tourism.Note 1 Together these industries make up the tourism sector.

  • The HRM provides the following key statistics for the tourism sector as a whole and for each tourism industry group: number of jobs, hours worked and compensation. These statistics are available by sex, by work status, by age group, by immigrant status and by occupation.

  • All statistics provided by the HRM are related to production in tourism industries. For example, statistics concerning jobs are about the number of jobs required to produce commodities in tourism industries whether the commodities are consumed by visitors or non-visitors, that is, local residents.

  • In 2012, the tourism sector accounted for 1.7 million jobs, 9.4% of all jobs in Canada. The number of jobs in the tourism sector grew by 1.5%, outpacing job growth in the total economy (+1.0%).

  • Nearly all job growth in tourism industries was in full-time employee jobs. About 33,000 such jobs were added in 2012, 23,000 of which were in food and beverage services.

  • The food and beverage services industry group was the largest employer among tourism industries in 2012, with more than half of all tourism jobs (915,000 jobs). The second largest employer was recreation and entertainment with 275,000 jobs, followed by accommodation with 230,000 jobs. The transportation industry group was responsible for 222,000 jobs, while travel services provided 44,000 jobs.

  • Working hours were shorter in tourism industries compared to jobs economy-wide. The shorter work week is explained by the higher proportion of part-time jobs in tourism.

  • Hourly compensation was lower in the tourism sector than economy-wide. The gap widened from $11.30 in 2011 to $11.76 in 2012.

  • Food-counter attendants and kitchen helpers and related occupations were the single largest occupation in the tourism sector with 276,000 jobs. Almost all of these jobs (260,000) were in the food and beverage services industry group. Airline sales and service agents were the main occupation in air transportation, but accounted for only 11,000 jobs. In other transportation industries, the most prevalent occupation was bus drivers and subway and other transit operators, with 52,000 jobs. Light duty cleaners were the main occupation in accommodation, with 47,000 jobs, while program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness were the most common occupation in recreation and entertainment, with 39,000 jobs. Travel counsellors were the main occupation in travel services, with 18,000 jobs.

  • One tourism industry group employed a notably older workforce: older workers accounted for 64.1% of all jobs in other transportation industries. The next oldest workforce was that of air transportation, with 44.6% of all jobs held by persons aged 45 years or older.

  • More women than men worked in the tourism sector, accounting for 54.6% of employee jobs, and women were more likely to work part-time (43.9% of women compared to 34.2% of men).

  • On an hourly basis, wages were lower for immigrants than for non-immigrants in the tourism sector, but on an annual basis, immigrants earned more ($30,400 versus $25,936 for non-immigrants) because they worked more hours.


  1. See Appendix B: Concepts and definitions.
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