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National tourism indicators, first quarter 2014

Released: 2014-06-27

Tourism spending in Canada rose 0.3% in the first quarter, the smallest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2013.

A 2.4% decline in tourism spending by international visitors in Canada, the largest since the first quarter of 2011, contributed to the deceleration.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada increases at a slower pace - Description and data table
Tourism spending in Canada increases at a slower pace

Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada increases at a slower pace - Description and data table

Canadian tourists continue to spend at home

Tourism spending by Canadians at home rose 0.9% in the first quarter, the largest rate of growth since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Outlays on most tourism goods and services were up, with accommodation (+2.8%) and fuel (+1.8%) contributing the most to the increase. Tourism spending on non-tourism goods and services, including groceries and clothing, rose 0.9%.

Conversely, spending on food and beverage services (-0.3%) as well as recreation and entertainment (-0.7%) declined.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Increased tourism spending by Canadians at home - Description and data table
Increased tourism spending by Canadians at home

Chart 2: Increased tourism spending by Canadians at home - Description and data table

Spending by international visitors declines

Spending by international visitors in Canada fell 2.4% in the first quarter, the largest decline since the first quarter of 2011.

Visitors to Canada spent less on most tourism goods and services, with passenger air transport (-4.3%) and accommodation (-1.4%) contributing the most to the weaker outlays. Spending on non-tourism goods and services (-3.7%) was also lower.

A decrease in travel played a role in the decline in spending by international visitors in Canada. Both same-day and overnight travel from the United States were lower in the first quarter.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Tourism spending by international visitors down - Description and data table
Tourism spending by international visitors down

Chart 3: Tourism spending by international visitors down - Description and data table

Tourism gross domestic product expands

Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, continuing an upward trend that began in the third quarter of 2009. By comparison, the national GDP also increased 0.3% in the first quarter.

The accommodation industry (+1.7%) was the largest contributor to the overall growth. Tourism GDP in non-tourism industries (+0.3%) was also higher, while transportation, food and beverage services as well as other tourism industries (which include recreation and entertainment as well as travel services) declined.

Tourism employment rose for the eighth consecutive month, edging up 0.1% to 621,700 jobs in the first quarter.

Increases in tourism jobs in accommodation (+0.7%) and air transportation (+0.7%) industries more than offset declines in travel services (-0.5%), recreation and entertainment (-0.4%) and food and beverage services (-0.3%) industries.

  Note to readers

Growth rates of tourism spending and gross domestic product are expressed in real terms (that is, adjusted for price changes) as well as adjusted for seasonal variations, unless otherwise indicated. Employment data are also seasonally adjusted. Associated percentage changes are presented at quarterly rates unless otherwise noted.

With the first quarter of 2014 release of the National tourism indicators, all data from the first quarter to the fourth quarter of 2013 have been revised. More information on the revision will be published in an article in the Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts in September 2014. Revised data can be obtained from CANSIM.

The National tourism indicators are funded by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

The System of macroeconomic accounts module, accessible from the Browse by key resource module of our website, features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

Data on the National tourism indicators for the second quarter will be released on September 26.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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