Tourism Spend

Visitor Spending in Canada

Each quarter, Destination Canada will publish new data on international tourism spend in Canada by 10 key markets and the rest of the world.

These indicators, developed by Statistics Canada for the tourism sector, provide spending of international visitors in Canada by region and six key tourism spending categories:

  • Accommodation
  • Food and beverage
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Clothing and gifts
  • Transportation
  • Other


Spend data is estimated by Statistics Canada by combining the Visitor Travel Survey data and anonymized, aggregated data from the financial sector. For more information, please see the notes included in the data tables.

Key Highlights

Key highlights from fourth quarter 2019 final indicators

  • US spend steady in the fourth quarter of 2019: During the fourth quarter of 2019, Canada welcomed 5.0 million visitors from the United States (compared to 4.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2018) and 1.3 million tourists from other countries (unchanged from fourth quarter of 2018) who stayed for one or more nights. The US visitors contributed $1.9 billion of all spending by international visitors, which is a minor increase compared to the same period in 2018.
  • Spending is concentrated in our cities: International visitors spent 50% of their total spend ($1.9 billion) in Canada in Vancouver ($758 million, 20%), Toronto ($680 million, 18%) and Montréal ($448 million, 12%) compared with 52% ($2.1 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • Varying growth from our markets: Double-digit growth was observed in visitor spend from Japan (39%), Germany (27%), India (18%) and the United Kingdom (17%) year over year. However, overall spend from Chinese visitors dropped by 33% over the same period.
  • Japanese visitors spent considerably more in Vancouver and Toronto: Spend by visitors from Japan increased by 39% overall (with 3% increase in tourists) - much of this gain was due to spending considerably more in Vancouver (up $21 million, 78%) and Greater Toronto Area (up $6 million, 59%). The biggest increase in spend was on Accommodation in Vancouver (up $13 million, 125%) and Food and Beverage in Toronto (up $2 million, 91%)
  • German spending in British Columbia and Ontario: Visitors from Germany spent 27% more than they did in 2018 in the fourth quarter. This was concentrated in British Columbia (up $7 million, 48%) and Ontario (up $9 million, 40%) compared to the same period in 2018. The biggest increase in spend was on Food and Beverage in British Columbia (up $3 million, 78%) and on Accommodation in Ontario (up $3 million, 34%)
  • Saskatchewan witnessed strongest percentage growth: Among various regions of Canada, Saskatchewan saw the largest percentage increase in spend (42%) between the fourth quarter of 2018 ($39 million) and the fourth quarter of 2019 ($55 million), followed by Niagara Falls and Wine Country (up $52 million, 35%).
  • Chinese per capita drop in spend: During the fourth quarter of 2019, Chinese arrivals to Canada dropped by 10% whereas their spend over the same period dropped by 33% ($478 million to $320 million). The drop was prominent in Recreation and Entertainment (down $19 million, 49%), Transportation (down $23 million, 47%), Clothes and Gifts (down $58 million, 34%), Accommodation (down $25 million, 34%) and Food and Beverage (down $35 million, 25%). However, it increased by 46% (up $2 million) in Souvenirs and Shopping.

 

 

Detailed information about fourth quarter 2019 Final Indicator visitor spend represented in three dimensional form. With this data it is possible to combine spend by visitors from a market in a particular region on goods and services in a particular category. For example: how much Germans spent on Accommodation in Greater Toronto Area.