Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts
The 2018 to 2021 revisions of the National Tourism Indicators

Release date: September 28, 2022

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1. Introduction

With the release of the fourth quarter 2021 estimates of the National Tourism Indicators (NTI) in March 2022, data were revised from the first quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2021. Estimates for all of 2021, including the fourth quarter, were also revised with the release of the NTI first quarter of 2022 estimates in July 2022. This article explains the impact of the new and revised Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (CSMA) data introduced during these revisions of the NTI.

Between 2018 and 2021, tourism spending in nominal terms was revised up for all years. Revisions were largest in 2018 and 2019, up $0.7 and $0.8 billion respectively, and smaller in 2020, $0.3 billion, as well as 2021, $0.1 billion.

The growth rate of tourism spending (in nominal terms) was revised up from +5.6% to +6.4% in 2018, +2.9% to +3.0% in 2019, and +10.4% to +10.7% in 2021. Only 2020, which saw the largest decline in tourism spending on record as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic had its growth rate revised down. This revision was from -49.7% to -49.8%.

On a quarterly basis, between the first quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2021, growth in tourism spending (in real terms) was revised up in eight quarters, down in five quarters and unchanged in three quarters (see Table 1.2).

2. Sources of revisions

The revisions to the NTI came from new and revised indicators from the CSMA and indirectly from the 2018 Supply and Use Tables (SUT). These revisions are described below.

2.1 Revisions to the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts

The regular annual revisions to household final consumption expenditure, to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry and to the balance of payments for the period 2018 to 2020 in November 2021 led to quarterly updates to NTI estimates for this period. Revisions to the same accounts for 2021 in May 2022 also led to quarterly updates to the NTI.

As a result of these revisions, new benchmark information from other sources, notably the Survey of Household Spending, as well as transportation, food services and drinking places and accommodation industry surveys, were brought into the NTI indirectly. This affected the NTI quarterly movements and annual levels for all open years (2018 to 2021).

2.2 Supply and Use Tables, 2018

The 2018 SUT benchmarks released in November 2021 were used to benchmark indicators throughout the CSMA, leading to revisions to quarterly supply, demand, GDP and employment of the NTI from the first quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2021.

3. Impact of revisions on the National Tourism Indicators

3.1 Revisions to components of tourism demand (nominal terms)

Annual revisions to the components of tourism demand (in nominal terms) varied. On average during the four-year period, the largest contributor to the upward revision was other tourism goods and services (e.g. recreation and entertainment, pre-trip expenses and travel services) (see Table 2). Despite experiencing a slight downward revision in 2021, other tourism goods and services was revised up an average of $0.3 billion across all years, primarily due to upward revisions to pre-trip expenses.

Accommodation services was revised up an average of $0.2 billion, with the bulk of the increase in 2018 and 2019. Food and beverage services was revised up an average of $0.1 billion over the period, will all years seeing similar increases.

Downward revisions to transportation services partially offset the upward revisions to tourism demand between 2018 and 2020.  In 2021, transportation services was revised up $0.1 billion.

3.2 Revisions to components of tourism demand (growth rates in real terms)

Annual growth rates of tourism spending (in real terms) were revised up 0.3 percentage points in both 2018 and 2021 and were virtually unchanged in 2019 and 2020 (see Table 3).

Transportation services was the only component to be revised down in 2018 and 2019, going from +4.8% to +4.6% and +1.4% to +1.2% respectively. The growth rate for tourism demand in transportation was unchanged in 2020, at -58.8%, and revised up 0.5 percentage points in 2021, to -5.4%.

Accommodation services and food and beverage services had upwards revisions in 2018 and 2019. Accommodation services was revised down in 2020 while food and beverage services was unchanged. In 2021, the growth rate was revised down from +16.8% to +16.4% for accommodation and brought up from +13.3% to +13.7% for food and beverage services.

Growth in other tourism goods and services was revised down 0.4 percentage points to +4.0% in 2021, while non-tourism goods and services was revised up 1.1 percentage points to +5.1%.

3.3 Revisions to employment generated by tourism demand

Tourism employment was revised up in all open years (2018 to 2021) (see Table 4). The largest revision to tourism employment was 2019, going from 692,000 to 696,400, with transportation and accommodation being the largest contributors to the change. By contrast, 2021 had the smallest revision, with a previously published 498,500 increasing to 498,900.

Tourism employment in transportation was revised up an average of two thousand jobs across all years, the most of any component. Upward revisions in the number of tourism jobs over the period for transportation, accommodation, and food and beverage services were partially offset by downward revisions in other tourism industries and non-tourism industries

Growth in tourism employment was revised up 0.4 and 0.2 percentage points in 2018 and 2019 respectively, down 0.3 percentage points in 2020 and up 0.1 percentage points in 2021.

Growth rates of tourism employment in transportation were revised up from 2018 to 2020, and was virtually unchanged in 2021. Other tourism industries and non-tourism industries had the largest downward revisions to growth rates over the revision period. Food and beverage services was the only component to have all growth rates within 0.4 percentage points of previously published estimates.

3.4 Revisions to tourism gross domestic product (growth rates in real terms)

Tourism GDP annual growth rates were revised up in 2018, 2019, and 2021, and revised down in 2020 (see Table 6). The mean absolute revision was 0.4 percentage points. In 2021, tourism GDP was revised up 0.3 percentage points to an increase of +5.3%.

Non-tourism industries had the widest range of revisions with 2018 being revised up 1.8 percentage points to 2020 being revised down 3.5 percentage points. Revisions in 2018 were primarily due to the incorporation of the SUT data. In 2020, larger revisions were expected due to volatility produced by the COVID-19 pandemic as indicators were revised with the incorporation of newly available data sources.

4. National Tourism Indicators revision policy

The NTI revision policy allows for regular incorporation of new and revised data, including regular benchmarking to the Provincial and Territorial Tourism Satellite Account (PTTSA). Revisions to the NTI are the result of new or revised data in the core economic accounts. The revision policy serves to improve the reliability and accuracy of the NTI time series estimates. It is consistent with the policy followed for the CSMA, which governs four types of revisions: current, annual, comprehensive, and updating to a new base year (currently 2012). Each of these are described below.

During the current reference year, estimates for any quarter are subject to revision at any subsequent quarter within the same year. For instance, a first-quarter estimate is revised on the release of the second-, third-, and fourth- quarter estimates for the same year. These are called current revisions, and allow improvements to estimates through the incorporation of the most up-to-date information available (including revisions to source data as a result of late reporting).

At the time of a first- and fourth-quarter releases, all estimates for a given number of years back from the current year are subject to revision. These annual revisions allow for the incorporation of the most up-to-date information from censuses, annual surveys, taxation statistics, public accounts, etc., which become available well after the fact. The number of years open to revision mirror the CSMA revision for that year. Furthermore, when a new set of PTTSA benchmarks is incorporated into the NTI, the revision period is extended back to the previous PTTSA. Thus, the window for revision in the NTI varies according to the frequency of PTTSA updates and any revisions to standard macroeconomic indicators in that year.

Estimates are also subject to periodic comprehensive revisions mainly to introduce new concepts, implement refined methods, and incorporate newly available data sources. Comprehensive revisions typically result in changes to the entire time series.

Updating of estimates in real terms to a new reference year (currently 2012), as with the third quarter 2018 release of the NTI, is normally carried out every five years. Updating of constant price series is done to remove bias in measures of inflation-adjusted growth as relative prices in the economy evolve away from those of the base year. Updating of constant price series involves revisions to only price indices and constant price aggregates, leaving aggregates at current prices unaffected.


Table 1.1
Revisions to tourism demand, not seasonally adjusted at current prices
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to tourism demand Revised estimate, Previous estimate and Revision, calculated using millions of dollars, %, % change, year-to-year and % points units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 1.1 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 1.1 Note 2 RevisionTable 1.1 Note 3 RevisionTable 1.1 Note 4 Revised estimateTable 1.1 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 1.1 Note 2 RevisionTable 1.1 Note 3
millions of dollars % % change, year-to-year % points
First quarter 2018 19,354 19,240 114 0.6 6.5 5.8 0.6
Second quarter 2018 24,394 24,217 177 0.7 6.6 5.8 0.8
Third quarter 2018 36,685 36,451 234 0.6 6.7 6.0 0.7
Fourth quarter 2018 21,675 21,496 179 0.8 5.4 4.5 0.9
First quarter 2019 20,259 20,096 163 0.8 4.7 4.4 0.2
Second quarter 2019 25,313 25,111 202 0.8 3.8 3.7 0.1
Third quarter 2019 37,401 37,163 238 0.6 2.0 2.0 0.0
Fourth quarter 2019 22,165 21,989 176 0.8 2.3 2.3 0.0
First quarter 2020 17,817 17,753 64 0.4 -12.1 -11.7 -0.4
Second quarter 2020 8,149 8,094 55 0.7 -67.8 -67.8 0.0
Third quarter 2020 16,802 16,666 136 0.8 -55.1 -55.2 0.1
Fourth quarter 2020 10,024 9,944 80 0.8 -54.8 -54.8 0.0
First quarter 2021 9,057 8,973 84 0.9 -49.2 -49.6 0.5
Second quarter 2021 11,793 11,789 4 0.0 44.7 44.7 0.0
Third quarter 2021 22,533 22,598 -65 -0.3 34.1 34.5 -0.4
Fourth quarter 2021 15,049 14,948 101 0.7 50.1 49.1 1.0


Table 1.2
Revisions to tourism demand at constant prices, seasonally adjusted at 2012 constant prices
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to tourism demand at constant prices Revised estimate, Previous estimate and Revision, calculated using % change, preceding quarter and % points units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 1.2 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 1.2 Note 2 RevisionTable 1.2 Note 3
% change, preceding quarter % points
First quarter 2018 0.5 0.4 0.1
Second quarter 2018 1.2 1.1 0.2
Third quarter 2018 1.4 1.3 0.1
Fourth quarter 2018 -0.2 -0.3 0.1
First quarter 2019 0.3 0.4 -0.1
Second quarter 2019 0.4 0.4 0.0
Third quarter 2019 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1
Fourth quarter 2019 0.2 0.3 0.0
First quarter 2020 -14.2 -14.2 0.0
Second quarter 2020 -66.0 -65.9 -0.2
Third quarter 2020 54.9 54.7 0.1
Fourth quarter 2020 -2.9 -3.2 0.3
First quarter 2021 -0.5 -0.7 0.2
Second quarter 2021 5.0 5.2 -0.1
Third quarter 2021 28.9 29.3 -0.4
Fourth quarter 2021 9.8 8.7 1.1


Table 2
Revisions to components of tourism demand at current prices
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to components of tourism demand at current prices Revised estimate, Previous estimate and Revision, calculated using millions of dollars and % units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 2 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 2 Note 2 RevisionTable 2 Note 3 RevisionTable 2 Note 4
millions of dollars %
Transportation
2018 38,973 39,033 -60 -0.2
2019 40,148 40,282 -134 -0.3
2020 15,904 16,004 -100 -0.6
2021 16,795 16,722 73 0.4
Accommodation
2018 15,519 15,205 314 2.1
2019 16,020 15,635 385 2.5
2020 8,113 8,055 58 0.7
2021 9,712 9,787 -75 -0.8
Food and beverage services
2018 15,685 15,633 52 0.3
2019 16,216 16,129 87 0.5
2020 9,285 9,235 50 0.5
2021 10,863 10,812 51 0.5
Other tourism goods and services
2018 16,888 16,542 346 2.1
2019 17,218 16,867 351 2.1
2020 11,184 10,802 382 3.5
2021 12,115 12,139 -24 -0.2
Total tourism goods and services
2018 87,065 86,413 652 0.8
2019 89,602 88,913 689 0.8
2020 44,486 44,096 390 0.9
2021 49,485 49,460 25 0.1
Other goods and services
2018 15,043 14,991 52 0.3
2019 15,536 15,446 90 0.6
2020 8,306 8,361 -55 -0.7
2021 8,947 8,848 99 1.1
Tourism expenditures
2018 102,108 101,404 704 0.7
2019 105,138 104,359 779 0.7
2020 52,792 52,457 335 0.6
2021 58,432 58,308 124 0.2


Table 3
Revisions to components of tourism demand (growth rates)
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to components of tourism demand (growth rates) Revised estimate, Previous estimate, Revision, current prices and 2012 constant prices, calculated using annual percentage change and % points units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 3 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 3 Note 2 RevisionTable 3 Note 3 Revised estimateTable 3 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 3 Note 2 RevisionTable 3 Note 3
current prices 2012 constant prices
annual percentage change % points annual percentage change % points
Transportation
2018 8.5 8.7 -0.2 4.6 4.8 -0.2
2019 3.0 3.2 -0.2 1.2 1.4 -0.1
2020 -60.4 -60.3 -0.1 -58.8 -58.8 0.0
2021 5.6 5.1 0.5 -5.4 -6.0 0.5
Accommodation
2018 6.2 4.1 2.1 5.1 4.7 0.4
2019 3.2 2.8 0.4 4.4 4.0 0.4
2020 -49.4 -48.5 -0.9 -41.8 -40.6 -1.2
2021 19.7 20.6 -0.9 16.4 16.8 -0.4
Food and beverage services
2018 5.0 4.7 0.3 1.3 1.0 0.3
2019 3.4 3.2 0.2 0.8 0.6 0.2
2020 -42.7 -42.7 0.0 -43.9 -43.9 0.0
2021 17.0 16.4 0.5 13.7 13.3 0.5
Other tourism goods and services
2018 4.8 2.6 2.1 2.6 0.7 1.8
2019 2.0 2.0 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 0.1
2020 -35.0 -36.0 0.9 -36.2 -37.1 0.9
2021 8.3 8.5 -0.2 4.0 4.5 -0.4
Total tourism goods and services
2018 6.7 5.9 0.8 3.7 3.3 0.4
2019 2.9 2.9 0.0 1.4 1.4 0.0
2020 -50.4 -50.4 0.1 -49.3 -49.3 0.0
2021 11.2 11.2 0.1 4.5 4.4 0.1
Other goods and services
2018 4.3 3.9 0.4 2.7 2.6 0.1
2019 3.3 3.0 0.2 0.9 0.8 0.1
2020 -46.5 -45.9 -0.7 -46.9 -45.9 -1.0
2021 7.7 6.5 1.2 5.1 4.1 1.1
Tourism expenditures
2018 6.4 5.6 0.7 3.6 3.2 0.3
2019 3.0 2.9 0.1 1.3 1.3 0.0
2020 -49.8 -49.7 -0.1 -49.0 -48.8 -0.1
2021 10.7 10.4 0.2 4.6 4.4 0.3


Table 4
Revisions to employment generated by tourism
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to employment generated by tourism Revised estimate, Previous estimate and Revision, calculated using thousands of jobs, %, annual percentage change and % points units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 4 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 4 Note 2 RevisionTable 4 Note 3 RevisionTable 4 Note 4 Revised estimateTable 4 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 4 Note 2 RevisionTable 4 Note 3
thousands of jobs % annual percentage change % points
Transportation
2018 80.6 78.4 2.2 2.7 0.6 -2.1 2.7
2019 83.3 80.3 3.0 3.7 3.4 2.5 0.9
2020 67.9 65.1 2.8 4.3 -18.5 -19.0 0.5
2021 57.0 57.1 -0.1 -0.1 -16.0 -15.9 -0.1
Accommodation
2018 138.8 138.8 0.0 0.0 2.0 2.0 0.0
2019 142.9 140.5 2.3 1.7 2.9 1.3 1.7
2020 93.0 90.9 2.1 2.3 -34.9 -35.3 0.4
2021 95.9 95.8 0.1 0.1 3.1 3.0 0.1
Food and beverage services
2018 226.4 225.5 0.8 0.4 1.3 0.9 0.4
2019 230.1 228.3 1.8 0.8 1.6 1.2 0.4
2020 154.4 153.4 0.9 0.6 -32.9 -32.8 -0.1
2021 167.0 166.9 0.1 0.1 8.2 8.1 0.1
Other tourism industries
2018 111.2 111.6 -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 0.1 -0.4
2019 111.7 113.0 -1.3 -1.2 0.4 1.3 -0.8
2020 78.6 79.6 -1.0 -1.2 -29.6 -29.5 -0.1
2021 76.3 76.3 0.0 0.0 -3.0 -3.0 0.0
Total tourism industries
2018 556.9 554.3 2.6 0.5 1.0 0.6 0.5
2019 567.9 562.1 5.7 1.0 2.0 1.4 0.6
2020 393.8 389.0 4.9 1.2 -30.7 -30.8 0.2
2021 396.2 396.0 0.1 0.0 0.6 0.6 0.0
Other industries
2018 127.7 127.3 0.4 0.3 1.1 0.8 0.3
2019 128.6 129.8 -1.3 -1.0 0.7 2.0 -1.3
2020 97.5 101.2 -3.7 -3.6 -24.2 -22.1 -2.1
2021 102.8 102.5 0.3 0.3 5.4 5.1 0.3
Tourism activities
2018 684.6 681.6 3.0 0.4 1.0 0.6 0.4
2019 696.4 692.0 4.5 0.6 1.7 1.5 0.2
2020 491.3 490.1 1.2 0.2 -29.5 -29.2 -0.3
2021 498.9 498.5 0.4 0.1 1.6 1.5 0.1


Table 5
Revisions to tourism gross domestic product at current prices
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to tourism gross domestic product at current prices Revised estimate, Previous estimate and Revision, calculated using millions of dollars, %, annual percentage change and % points units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 5 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 5 Note 2 RevisionTable 5 Note 3 RevisionTable 5 Note 4 Revised estimateTable 5 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 5 Note 2 RevisionTable 5 Note 3
millions of dollars % annual percentage change % points
Transportation
2018 11,289 11,768 -479 -4.1 2.5 6.9 -4.4
2019 11,937 12,414 -477 -3.8 5.7 5.5 0.3
2020 3,499 3,608 -109 -3.0 -70.7 -70.9 0.2
2021 3,130 3,115 15 0.5 -10.5 -11.0 0.4
Accommodation
2018 9,507 9,305 202 2.2 6.5 4.2 2.3
2019 10,013 9,751 262 2.7 5.3 4.8 0.5
2020 4,879 4,757 122 2.6 -51.3 -51.2 -0.1
2021 5,883 5,894 -11 -0.2 20.6 20.8 -0.2
Food and beverage services
2018 7,048 6,976 72 1.0 5.8 4.7 1.1
2019 7,284 7,198 86 1.2 3.3 3.2 0.2
2020 4,181 4,131 50 1.2 -42.6 -42.6 0.0
2021 4,894 4,873 21 0.4 17.1 16.6 0.5
Other tourism industries
2018 5,612 5,545 67 1.2 3.8 2.6 1.2
2019 5,797 5,705 92 1.6 3.3 2.9 0.4
2020 2,749 2,725 24 0.9 -52.6 -52.2 -0.3
2021 2,629 2,633 -4 -0.2 -4.4 -4.2 -0.1
Total tourism industries
2018 33,456 33,594 -138 -0.4 4.5 5.0 -0.4
2019 35,031 35,068 -37 -0.1 4.7 4.4 0.3
2020 15,308 15,221 87 0.6 -56.3 -56.6 0.3
2021 16,536 16,515 21 0.1 8.0 7.9 0.1
Other industries
2018 10,121 9,953 168 1.7 7.8 6.0 1.8
2019 10,208 10,037 171 1.7 0.9 0.8 0.0
2020 6,610 6,774 -164 -2.4 -35.2 -32.5 -2.7
2021 7,624 7,526 98 1.3 15.3 13.9 1.5
Tourism activities
2018 43,577 43,547 30 0.1 5.3 5.2 0.1
2019 45,239 45,105 134 0.3 3.8 3.6 0.2
2020 21,918 21,995 -77 -0.4 -51.6 -51.2 -0.3
2021 24,160 24,041 119 0.5 10.2 9.7 0.5


Table 6
Revisions to tourism gross domestic product at 2012 constant prices
Table summary
This table displays the results of Revisions to tourism gross domestic product at 2012 constant prices Revised estimate, Previous estimate and Revision, calculated using annual percentage change and % points units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Revised estimateTable 6 Note 1 Previous estimateTable 6 Note 2 RevisionTable 6 Note 3
annual percentage change % points
Transportation
2018 3.1 5.4 -2.3
2019 2.3 1.9 0.4
2020 -70.5 -70.9 0.4
2021 -13.3 -14.2 0.9
Accommodation
2018 6.3 4.7 1.6
2019 6.7 5.7 1.0
2020 -43.8 -44.4 0.6
2021 17.0 16.4 0.6
Food and beverage services
2018 2.1 1.0 1.1
2019 1.2 0.6 0.6
2020 -43.7 -43.7 0.0
2021 13.7 13.2 0.5
Other tourism industries
2018 1.3 -0.1 1.4
2019 1.0 0.7 0.4
2020 -52.7 -52.7 0.0
2021 -7.1 -6.8 -0.3
Total tourism industries
2018 3.5 3.3 0.1
2019 3.1 2.5 0.6
2020 -54.4 -54.9 0.5
2021 5.3 4.8 0.5
Other industries
2018 2.6 0.8 1.8
2019 0.6 0.8 -0.2
2020 -34.6 -31.2 -3.5
2021 5.3 5.4 -0.1
Tourism activities
2018 3.2 2.7 0.5
2019 2.5 2.1 0.4
2020 -49.6 -49.2 -0.4
2021 5.3 5.0 0.3

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