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National tourism indicators, first quarter 2017

Released: 2017-06-29

Tourism spending in Canada

$21.2 billion

First quarter 2017

0.9% increase

(quarterly change)

Tourism spending in Canada rose 0.9% in the first quarter of 2017, following a 0.4% gain in the fourth quarter of 2016. Increased tourism spending by Canadians at home and by international visitors in Canada contributed to the overall growth.

Since the third quarter of 2009, tourism spending has increased every quarter except the third quarter of 2012, when it declined 0.3%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Tourism spending in Canada increases again
Tourism spending in Canada increases again

Tourism spending by Canadians increases

Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada grew 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017, after increasing 0.4% the previous quarter.

Growth was mainly attributable to increased outlays on passenger air transport (+1.3%) and on non-tourism goods and services (+1.8%), such as groceries and clothing. Tourism spending on recreation and entertainment (+0.9%) also increased.

Spending on travel services (-1.3%) and vehicle fuel (-0.5%) fell in the first quarter.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Tourism spending by Canadians at home advances
Tourism spending by Canadians at home advances

Spending by international visitors rises

Spending by international visitors in Canada rose 1.6% in the first quarter of 2017, following a 0.4% gain the previous quarter, as overnight travel from both the United States and overseas countries increased.

Higher outlays on passenger air transport (+3.4%) and accommodation services (+1.9%) largely contributed to the growth. Tourism spending on recreation and entertainment (+2.2%) and food and beverage services (+1.2%) also increased.

Tourism spending on vehicle fuel (-0.8%) and non-tourism goods and services (-0.4%) were lower in the first quarter, as same-day car travel declined.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Tourism spending by international visitors up
Tourism spending by international visitors up

Tourism gross domestic product advances

Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.8% in the first quarter, after edging up 0.1% in the fourth quarter. By comparison, national GDP grew 1.0% in the first quarter following a 0.6% increase the previous quarter.

The increase in tourism GDP was largely due to growth in the transportation (+2.0%) and accommodation (+0.8%) industries. Tourism GDP in non-tourism industries increased 0.3%.

Tourism employment rose 0.3% in the first quarter, after edging up 0.1% the previous quarter. Increases in food and beverage services (+0.5%) and recreation and entertainment (+1.2%) were partially offset by fewer jobs in travel services (-1.3%) and accommodation services (-0.2%). Tourism jobs in non-tourism industries increased 0.5%.

Government revenue attributable to tourism increases in 2016 

In 2016, $25.5 billion of government revenue was directly attributable to tourism, up 3.1% from 2015. Domestic tourism spending accounted for 76.2% of this revenue, with the remainder coming from tourism exports.

Taxes on products sold to final consumers ($14.8 billion), such as the GST and HST, were the largest source of government revenue attributable to tourism, followed by corporate and individual income tax ($5.0 billion).

Most of the revenue generated from tourism was collected by the federal, provincial and territorial governments (94.5%). The remainder was collected by municipal and aboriginal governments.

Every $100 spent by non-resident visitors generated, on average, $30.29 in government revenue, down from $30.97 in 2015. Resident visitors generated $27.12 in revenues for every $100 spent, compared with $27.37 in the previous year. Overall, every $100 in tourism spending generated $27.81 in government revenue in 2016, down from $28.11 in 2015.



  Note to readers

Growth rates for tourism spending and gross domestic product are expressed in real terms (that is, adjusted for price changes), at 2007 constant prices, as well as adjusted for seasonal variations, unless otherwise indicated. Employment data are also seasonally adjusted. Government revenue attributable to tourism are expressed in nominal terms. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Associated percentage changes are presented at quarterly rates unless otherwise noted.

The national tourism indicators are funded by Destination Canada.

Next release

Data on the national tourism indicators for the second quarter will be released on September 28.

Products

The System of Macroeconomic Accounts module features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available. This publication will be updated to maintain its relevance.

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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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