Number of Americans visiting Canada reaches record high: Statistics Canada

Toronto Pearson International Airport (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

If you skipped out on a vacation to kick off the summer season, you’re not alone. Data released by Statistics Canada shows that travel both to the U.S. and overseas is on the decline, but Americans continue to flock to the country in large numbers.

The number of Americans travelling to Canada increased to the highest level since 2007. Americans made 2.1 million trips to Canada in June, a 2.2 per cent increase on a year-over-year basis.

Conversely, Canadian travellers returning from abroad in June totalled 4,633,708, a three per cent decrease from March, the largest travel month of the first half of the year, which totalled 4,781,140 travellers.

Canadians made one million to trips to countries other than the U.S. in June, down 2.5 per cent from May but up by 3.3 per cent year-to-date at 6.9 million travellers.

“The number of Canadian residents travelling to overseas countries declined in June, following two consecutive monthly increases,” Statistics Canada stated in the release

The government agency found that Canadians made 3.6 million trips to the U.S. in June, the third consecutive monthly decline, which the Statistics Canada revealed is largely due to fewer same-day drives across the border.

“The year-over-year decline in travel from Canada to the United States coincided with an increase in the value of the US dollar,” Statistics Canada stated. “The value of the U.S. dollar, a factor known to influence cross-border travel, rose from CAN$1.31 year over year to CAN$1.33 in June 2019.”

According to KAYAK’s 2019 travel trend forecast, Canadians have an increasing interest in domestic travel.

“For the first time since tracking Canadian travel trends, KAYAK has seen more Canadian cities included in the Travel Forecast than ever before,” the company stated in a release earlier this year. “Toronto took the number one spot on KAYAK's most popular list with cities like Vancouver (#3) and Calgary (#10) also making the cut.”

Overseas travel to Canada on the decline

While a large number of Americans are coming to Canada, the number visitors from overseas (countries other than the U.S.) declined in June with 625,000 trips made in in June, a 2.2 per cent decrease from May.

Residents of overseas countries made 625,000 trips to Canada in June, down 2.5 per cent from May, following three months of increases.

“Travel from Asia declined 4.9%, primarily due to a 10.4% drop in the number of travellers from Japan,” Statistics Canada stated.

“Travel from China...declined 2.2% in June. The number of air arrivals from China over the first half of the year was 5.8% lower compared with the same period in 2018, the Canada-China Year of Tourism.”