Characteristics of international overnight travellers, third quarter 2012

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Overnight travel for pleasure by Canadian residents increased to both the United States and overseas destinations during the third quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011.

Canadians took 6.5 million trips for pleasure outside Canada in the third quarter, up 9.9% from the same quarter a year earlier. Of these, 5.1 million trips were to the United States, a 10.8% increase.

These trips for pleasure accounted for 69.3% of all overnight travel to the United States. Canadian residents spent $2.9 billion on their overnight pleasure trips while in the United States.

Visiting friends and relatives was the next most common travel reason to the United States with 973,000 overnight trips, a decrease of 3.9%. Canadian residents also took 553,000 overnight business trips to the United States, down 0.2%.

New York continued to be the top destination state for all overnight travel. Canadian residents made 1.7 million overnight visits to New York State during the third quarter, up 16.6% from the same period in 2011. They spent $607 million in the state.

Washington and Michigan were the next most common destination states for Canadians.

Pleasure travel was also the most common reason for overnight travel from the United States to Canada. US residents took 2.9 million overnight pleasure trips to Canada in the third quarter, down 2.1% from the same quarter a year earlier.

Business travel from the United States to Canada rose 2.8% while trips to visit friends and relatives were up 5.5%.

New York was also the top state of origin with its residents taking 706,000 trips to Canada and spending $273 million. Washington and Michigan were the next two most common states of origin.

The most common overseas destinations for overnight travel by Canadian residents were the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Canadian residents made 367,000 overnight visits to the United Kingdom in the third quarter, up 11.7% from the same quarter a year earlier. London hosted the 30th Summer Olympic Games in July and August this past year.

The United Kingdom was the top overseas country of origin for overnight travel to Canada, followed by France and Germany.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3152.

This release summarises data now available from the International Travel Survey. Tables, various statistical profiles and micro-data files of characteristics of international travellers using the third quarter 2012 are now available on request.

Data on characteristics of international overnight travellers for the fourth quarter of 2012 will be released on May 27.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).