The latest figures obtained by TIAC show growth in tourism jobs, receipts and visitor arrivals in 2012, as well as strong growth in arrivals over the first quarter of 2013. The relatively positive winter figures give reason for optimism ahead of the peak summer season.
In 2012, Canada improved to 16th in the world in international arrivals, from 18th in 2011. However, despite the improvement in ranking, Canada still falls short of 2002 levels by about 3.8 million visitors per year.
Still, tourism receipts grew by 4.4% to $84.8 billion in 2012, while tourism employment grew by 1.9% to 614,600, both at a slightly better pace than the growth in visitor arrivals (+1.8% in 2012, to 16.3 million).
While it is still early in the year, Statistics Canada’s March travel figures also show signs of promise for 2013. Overall, international visitation grew by 3.3% in the first quarter of 2013 over 2012 Q1. This was largely made up of healthy growth from the U.S. (+6.5% in the first quarter of 2013 over 2012 Q1).
Declines in arrivals from France (-3.5%), Germany (-7.9%) and the U.K. (-5.3%) were more than offset by growth from China (+20.1%), Japan (+8.5%), South Korea (+7.9%), Mexico (+11.3%), Brazil (+4.6%) and Australia (+7.2%).