Tourism Spend

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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 third quarter 2019 early indicators

  1. Over the third quarter (July – September) of 2019, visitors from the US represented 50% ($4.8 billion) of all spending by international visitors. Over the same period, Canada welcomed 6.1 million overnight visitors from the US.
  2. Consistent with previous quarters, the top three provinces for total international visitor expenditures were Ontario ($3 billion, 31%), British Columbia ($2.9 billion, 30%) and Quebec ($1.5 billion, 16%).  Collectively they represented around 77% of total spending by international travellers.
  3. Chinese visitors represented 7% ($666 million) of all spending by international travellers with 2% (302,936) of all same day and overnight visitors, which was slightly higher than British spending of $640 million with 3% (406,767) of all same day and overnight visitors.
  4. In both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, American visitors contributed a much higher proportion of the international visitor spending, at 76% of total spend in those two provinces, compared to 50% in Canada.
  5. Indian travellers are spending a much greater proportion (19%) of their total spend in Ottawa region when compared to visitors from other countries (3%). It is their second largest spend region and they are second only to the US in Ottawa.
  6. French visitors continued their deep connection with Quebec. They spent 65% ($312 million) of their total spending in Canada in Quebec. All other countries combined spent 13% of their total spending in Quebec.
  7. Chinese visitors continued spending much higher proportion of their spend shopping in Canada when compared with other international visitors to Canada. They spent 22% ($149 million) of their total spending on clothes and gifts compared to 9% ($816 million) by visitors from other countries combined.
  8. Niagara Falls and Wine Country region saw much higher proportionate spend in Recreation and Entertainment (16%) when compared with other regions in the country (9%)