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National tourism indicators, fourth quarter 2014

Released: 2015-03-27

Tourism spending in Canada rose 0.7% in the fourth quarter, after increasing 1.0% in the previous quarter. This was the seventh consecutive quarterly gain in tourism spending.

Tourism spending by Canadians at home largely contributed to the increase.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada up for a seventh consecutive quarter - Description and data table
Tourism spending in Canada up for a seventh consecutive quarter

Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada up for a seventh consecutive quarter - Description and data table

Tourism spending by Canadians continues to rise

Tourism spending by Canadians at home rose 0.9% in the fourth quarter, the same pace as in the previous quarter. In the past five years, domestic tourism spending has increased in all but two quarters.

Outlays on vehicle fuel were up 2.9%, contributing the most to the increase in spending by Canadians at home. Passenger air transport (+1.0%) and accommodation (+1.0%) were also higher. Spending on non-tourism goods and services such as groceries and clothing increased 0.5%.

In turn, spending on travel services declined 0.9%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Tourism spending by Canadians at home increases - Description and data table
Tourism spending by Canadians at home increases

Chart 2: Tourism spending by Canadians at home increases - Description and data table

Spending by international visitors edges up

Spending by international visitors in Canada edged up 0.1% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.5% gain in the previous quarter.

Tourism spending rose for food and beverage services (+0.4%), recreation and entertainment (+0.5%) and non-tourism goods and services (+0.6%). Those increases were largely offset by a decline in passenger air transport (-0.8%).

Overnight travel from abroad increased in the fourth quarter. However, overnight travel to Canada by plane was down.

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

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

Tourism gross domestic product expands

Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.1% in the fourth quarter, continuing an upward trend that began in the third quarter of 2009. By comparison, national GDP increased 0.6% in the fourth quarter.

Among tourism industries, accommodation (+1.6%) and transportation (+0.9%) contributed the most to the gain in tourism GDP. Tourism GDP in non-tourism industries increased 1.5%.

Tourism employment rose 0.6% on strong gains in the air transportation industry (+3.7%). Travel services (+2.1%) and recreation and entertainment (+1.0%) also contributed to the employment rise. Jobs in accommodation decreased 0.2%.

Annual 2014

Tourism spending in Canada rose 3.3% in 2014, following a 1.1% gain in 2013. Both outlays by Canadians at home and spending by international visitors in Canada increased.

Spending by Canadians at home increased 3.3%, led by an 8.0% gain in passenger air transport. Outlays on vehicle fuel (+5.3%) and food and beverage services (+2.6%) also contributed to the overall growth. Tourism spending on non-tourism goods and services rose 1.0%, while pre-trip expenditures such as luggage decreased 2.4%.

Spending by international visitors in Canada grew 2.9%, with most tourism goods and services contributing to the increase. Passenger air transport (+4.9%), accommodation (+3.9%) and food and beverage services (+4.3%) were the main contributors. Spending on non-tourism goods and services declined 1.5%.

Tourism GDP grew by 2.6%, following a 1.2% increase in 2013. By comparison, national GDP increased 2.4% in 2014.

Transportation (+5.3%) contributed the most to the annual growth of tourism GDP. Accommodation (+1.7%) and food and beverage services (+2.6%) also contributed to the gain. Tourism GDP in non-tourism industries grew by 1.9%.

Tourism employment rose 1.4% after increasing 1.5% the previous year. More jobs in the food and beverage services industry (+2.1%) contributed the most to the overall gains. Air transportation (+2.2%) and recreation and entertainment (+1.6%) also increased, while accommodation was unchanged.

  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 fourth quarter of 2014 release of the National tourism indicators, all data for the first, second, and third quarters of 2014 have been revised.

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 first quarter will be released on June 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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