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 while in 20 regions across Canada  and in six key tourism spending categories:

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

The spend is estimated by Statistics Canada by combining their Visitor Spend Survey data and the anonymized, aggregated data obtained from the financial sector.


Key highlights from third quarter 2018 

  • Visitors from the United States represented 49.5% ($4.33 billion) of all spending by international visitors, while the rest of the world combined was 50.5% ($4.41 billion).
  • Relative to other countries, Chinese visitors spent a bigger share of their total expenditure in Canada on clothing and gifts, and food and beverage – and the lowest share on accommodation.
  • Travellers from France, Germany and the UK spent significantly more of their overall disbursements in Canada on accommodation compared with most other countries; however, they spent significantly less on clothing, gifts and souvenirs. German visitors also spent more on transportation.
  • Japanese and Korean travellers had similar spending patterns with a few exceptions: Japanese travellers spent a much bigger share of their total expenditure on accommodation - at level similar to that by European travellers, and Korean visitors spent more on food and beverages.
  • Over the third quarter of 2018, Ontario captured for 33% of all US visitor spending in Canada, ahead of British Columbia (28%) and Quebec (15%).  Interestingly, expenditures by US visitors in Ontario were broadly distributed throughout the province as US visitors spent more in Ontario regions outside the Greater Toronto Area, Niagara Falls and Wine Country area, and Ottawa and its countryside than any of these three regions individually.
  • Spending by international visitors was highest in Vancouver, Coast and Mountains region ($1.72 billion), followed by Greater Toronto Region ($1.19 billion), Rest of Ontario ($870 million), Rest of British Columbia ($815 million) and Montreal ($724 million).
  • The top three provinces for total international visitor expenditures were Ontario ($2.69 billion), British Columbia ($2.62 billion) and Quebec ($1.39 billion). Collectively they constituted around 76.7% of total spending by international travellers.