Voice of the BC Tourism Industry


Tourism by the Numbers


Destination Canada 2019 Arrivals Infographic (CNW Group/Destination Canada)


Tourism plays a significant role in the national economy, generating an estimated $104.9 billion in tourism expenditures in 2019, supporting approximately 1 in 10 jobs in communities across Canada and contributes an estimated $43.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product.

Key Highlights

  • 2019 was the best year for Canadian tourism on record, with arrivals reaching 22.1 million, breaking the 22 million mark for the first time ever.
  • Overnight arrivals to Canada from countries other than the United States reached an all-time high of 7.15 million (2018: 6.7 million). Overseas tourists typically stay in Canada longer and spend more, helping to achieve Destination Canada’s high-yield strategy.
  • The United States saw a strong year in air arrivals with 5.1 million (2018: 4.6 million) and a solid rebound in automobile crossings with 8.5 million (2018: 8.2 million). Overall, the US had another record-breaking year with 14.99 million total arrivals.
  • Mexico once again experienced impressive growth with 495,627 total arrivals, with a particularly notable increase of 12.4% in air arrivals. The Mexican market has continued to grow since changes to visa requirements at the end of 2016, which spurred demand for travel to Canada, prompting airlines to increase air service.
  • India saw an 9.7% increase in air arrivals helping achieve a new annual record for this market with 333,111 arrivals (2018: 287,416).
  • Improvements in international air access to Canada helped stimulate travel with non-stop air services adding 2.2% more seats in 2019.

Source: www.destinationcanada.com/en/news/canada-experiences-third-consecutive-record-breaking-year-tourism-2019




Download the Tourism Industry Industry Association of Canada publications:

Travel & Tourism Fast Facts and Tourism – Canada’s Economic Pillar

Source: tiac-aitc.ca/publications.htm






ECONOMIC IMPACT – British Columbia

In 2019, the tourism industry generated $22.3 billion in revenue – an 5.6% increase over 2018, and a 67.8% increase from 2009.

In 2019, tourism exports generated revenue of $7.2 billion, an increase of 4.3% over 2018.

GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 2.5% over 2018. The tourism industry contributed 3.4% or $8.7 billion of value added to the BC economy, as measured through GDP (in 2012 constant dollars). This represents 3.4% growth over 2018, and 41.8% growth since 2009. In 2019, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry.

In 2018, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry (forestry & logging $1.8B, agriculture & fishing $3.2B, oil & gas $4.9B, and mining:$5.2B).

In 2019, 19,748 tourism-related businesses were in operation in BC, an increase of 2.2% over 2018.

In 2019, 149,900 people were employed in tourism-related businesses, a 1.8% increase over 2018.

In 2019, the tourism industry paid $6.1 billion in wages and salaries, up 5.8% from 2018, and up 65.0% since 2010.

Source: Value of Tourism 2019 Snapshot – Destination BC 

Download the Destination BC 2018 Value of Tourism Snapshot


British Columbia’s tourism industry had an exceptional year in 2019, with a total of 6,213,752 overnight international visitor arrivals to the province, including 3,980,733 visitors from the US, 1,348,676 from Asia Pacific, and 607,807 visitors from Europe. International visitor arrivals were up 2.6% over 2018.

The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including the marketing efforts of Destination BC and our industry partners, increased number of direct flights, and the easing of visa restrictions.

For more details, visit Destination BC for Industry Performance statistics: www.destinationbc.ca/Research/Industry-Performance



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