With a reputation for being friendly and polite and attractions that include natural wonders and cosmopolitan cities, it may be no surprise that Canada’s tourism industry is growing and thriving. Not that Canadians are the type to brag about that.
From January to October 2018, Canada welcomed a record 18.6 million international tourists, an increase of 1.2 per cent over the same period in 2017, according to a new report from Statistics Canada. From January to September 2018, tourism spending hit $80.8 billion, an increase of 5.9 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.
Domestic revenues increased 6.9 per cent to almost $63.3 billion and tourism revenues from international travellers increased 2.3 per cent to $17.5 billion, Statistics Canada reports. Tourism directly accounted for more than 750,000 jobs from January to September 2018, an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.
“These numbers prove that the tourism sector deserves to be recognized for its high growth potential,” said Mélanie Joly, tourism minister. “It’s a driving force in job creation for the middle class.”
The federal government created an advisory council comprised of business owners, tourism operators and professionals to look at jobs and the visitor economy in a bid to grow Canadian tourism opportunities and increase competitiveness globally.
“People worldwide have never travelled so much and we are working on a national tourism strategy to help communities across the country, large and small, draw more visitors to their regions,” Joly says.
From 2014 to 2017, Canada’s tourism sector gained ground by almost every measure. International arrivals in Canada grew by an average of eight per cent per year and the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP grew by an average of 4.6 per cent per year. From 2014 to 2017, the number of jobs in Canada’s tourism sector grew by an average of 1.7 per cent per year.