Although figures for the ever-important summer season have yet to come in, the latest data from Statistics Canada shows signs of promise that 2012 might be a year of growth in international tourism arrivals.
Overall, there were approximately 999,000 visits to Canada in the month of April, 2012. Non-US visitation was virtually on par with the figures posted in April, 2011, declining by a fraction of a percentage point. Monthly declines from Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea were offset by increases from Canada’s core emerging markets, which continued to show excellent growth. For the month, Canada posted a 25% increase in visits from China, a 24.5% increase in visits from India, a 13.7% increase in visits from Mexico, and a 9.3% increase in visits from Brazil compared with April 2011. Additionally, visits from the United States, were up by a solid 22,500 visits, or 3.2%.
Not only were the monthly figures promising, but the year-to-date (Jan-Apr) figures continue to hold strong. Between January and April, 2012, visits to Canada from countries other than the U.S. were 7.5% higher than in the same period in 2011. Arrivals from the U.S., meanwhile, were 4.7% higher than in the same period a year earlier. Overall, year-to-date visitation is at 3,277,000, approximately 5.4% higher than the 3,100,000 visitors welcomed here over the same period in 2011.