Outbound traveller departures from Canada to US set to fall to 14.9 million by 2022, says GlobalData

The number of outbound travellers departing from Canada to the US is set for continuous decline from 23.3 million visitors in 2013 to 14.9 million in 2022, decreasing at a compound annual rate of change (CARC) of -4.8%, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report: ‘Tourism Source Market Insight: Canada’ reveals that the combination of the ‘Trump slump’, reluctance of repeat visits and the increase in wallet friendly flights to Mexico have caused Canadians to travel elsewhere.

Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Associate Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “The US has long been and still is the most popular destination for Canadians. Affordability and accessibility is of great importance to them and the US provides this in abundance. However, destinations which can provide cheap flights such as Mexico and low cost, novel experiences such as India are experiencing high growth in Canadian visitor numbers as millennials, aged 22-36, and baby boomers, aged 55-75, have realised their money can get them further afield.


From 2013 to 2018, visitation numbers from Canada to the US decreased at a CARC of -4.1%, from 23.3 million to 18.9 million. This negative growth indicated the start of a change in demand from Canadian tourists. The Canadian economy entered a recession in 2015 and GDP fell by an annualised rate of 0.5% between April and June, which has not benefitted outbound tourism to the US. From 2018 to 2022, negative growth will continue at CARC of -5.7%, even though the economy in Canada has improved in recent years. External political factors such as the Trump presidency have further deterred Canadians from travelling to the US.

Hollister continues: “Canada is one of the slowest growing markets for outbound tourism out of all Group of Seven (G-7*) countries, which is a trend that international destinations attempting to attract Canadian tourism need to be mindful of. Canada’s economy has been experiencing improved growth in recent years compared to countries with a higher total GDP in the G-7 group. But this has not encouraged a large increase in Canadians taking international vacations, mainly being due to the perceived cost of international travel.”

Currently 33% of Canadians have no holiday plans, according to GlobalData. This statistic is concerning for both domestic and international destinations popular with Canadian tourists such as the US. Furthermore, 23% of Canadians now typically take city breaks, which is a growing share of the source market. Cities further in land in the states such as Denver and Dallas should be visibly promoted to Canadian tourists by VisitUSA. This strategy will potentially motivate Canadians to return to experience a different aspect of their tourism product.

* G-7: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US.

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