Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada
Skip main navigation menuSkip secondary navigation menuHomeFrançaisContact UsHelpSearch the websiteCanada Site
The DailyCanadian StatisticsCommunity ProfilesProducts and servicesHome
CensusCanadian StatisticsCommunity ProfilesProducts and servicesOther links

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Publication's logo
International Travel


International travel in 2005

  • In 2005, international tourism worldwide exceeded all expectations, as the number of international tourist arrivals climbed to a record high of 806 million, 5.5% more than the previous year. As a result, worldwide international tourism receipts reached a record $680 billion US (in constant dollars).
  • Overnight travel to Canada surpassed same-day travel for the first time ever. Of the 36.2 million trips to Canada, 51.5% was considered overnight travel. The shift was the result of a prolonged downswing in same-day travel, which consists mostly of car trips from the United States.
  • Same-day travel from the United States fell 11.6% to a record low of 17.3 million trips. Since 1999, it has fallen 41.4%. Higher gas prices, an unfavourable exchange rate and increasing uncertainty surrounding border security policies might explain the drop in same-day travel from the United States.
  • Overnight travel from the United States slipped 4.6% to 14.4 million trips. This was only the second decline in overnight travel since 1996. In 2003, overnight travel from the United States had fallen 12.0% following the SARS-related health scare.
  • Travel from overseas countries climbed to a five-year high of 4.5 million trips, up 6.8% from 2004. Visitors from overseas countries are rapidly returning to Canada, with an increase in travel of 32.8% since 2003. Travellers from countries other than the United States had shied away from Canada following 9/11 and leading up to the SARS health scare in 2003.
  • Same-day travel to the United States increased for the second straight year, up 3.3% to 22.9 million trips, after recording year-over-year declines since 1991.
  • Overnight travel to the United States reached 14.9 million trips, an increase of 7.3% and the highest level since 1997.
  • Canadians made an unprecedented 6.2 million overnight trips overseas in 2005, 8.5% more than in 2004. Travel to overseas countries has been the only constant in travel between Canada and other countries, increasing steadily since the early 1980s. Since 1981, travel to non-US destinations has fallen only three times, increasing more than four-fold.
  • Of the 21.1 million outbound trips taken by Canadian tourists in 2005, a record-high 29.5% of them were to overseas destinations. Canadian tourists are increasingly choosing to travel overseas rather than to the United States, as the proportion of trips to non-US destinations has risen every year since 1999.
  • In 2005, Canada's international travel deficit jumped $1.8 billion to a 12-year high of $5.8 billion. The annual deficit was the fourth largest ever, with higher deficits in only 1991, 1992 and 1993. Since 2002, the deficit has more than tripled. The increase in the deficit was mostly fuelled by record spending abroad. A drop in foreign spending in Canada also contributed, but to a lesser extent.

Home | Search | Contact Us | Français Return to top of page
Date Modified: 2006-12-22 Important Notices