posted on February 21, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canadian tourism reaches new milestone in 2019 with 22.1 million inbound visitors
OTTAWA, ON February 21, 2020 – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) applauds new Statistics Canada numbers showing that Canada welcomed 22.1 million inbound visitors in 2019, marking the sixth consecutive year of increased travel to Canada. This growth affirms TIAC’s success in advocating for increased federal investments in tourism and reduction of barriers that challenge and constrain industry growth.
"We are celebrating a third record-breaking year for tourism," states Charlotte Bell, TIAC President & CEO, "Canada saw gains from both mature and emerging visitor markets, showing that Canada remains a top destination for leisure, study and business travel."
Of particular note, Canada saw growth of 18% from India, 20% from Hong Kong, and 49% from Jamaica. Mexican visitation has increased by 26% in 2019, continuing the pattern of strong growth since the Mexican visa was lifted in 2016.
"As we consider arrival numbers from India, Mexico, and Jamaica, it is clear that diversifying markets is a winning strategy for Canadian tourism," states Bell, " Mexico, particularly since the visa lift, is a great example of increased returns and visitation numbers by ease of entry into Canada.”
While these markets illustrate considerable growth, Canada's largest inbound market, the United States, was the biggest contributor to inbound tourism by far. Nearly 15 million Americans visited Canada last year, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth since 2014 and the highest level since 2004.
In 2020, Canada continues to be a top travel destination for international markets. TIAC believes strongly that continued proactive policy change and increased investment to bolster the marketing efforts of Destination Canada in target markets, will help ensure another successful growth year in 2020.
"These results strengthen the case for continued investment in marketing, capacity building through the Canadian Experiences Fund and the removal of barriers that hamper visitation. The focus on both yield and arrivals sets us on an upward path to reach the $128 billion target by 2025, added Bell.
The tourism industry in Canada is a $102-billion-dollar sector, with 1.8 million Canadian jobs dependent on economic activity generated by travel and tourism.
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
Tourism Industry Association of Canada