Tourism by the Numbers
ECONOMIC IMPACT – 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.
- 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.
TRAVEL & TOURISM FACT FACTS – Canada
Download the Tourism Industry Industry Association of Canada publications:
Travel & Tourism Fast Facts and Tourism – Canada’s Economic Pillar
ECONOMIC IMPACT – British Columbia
In 2018, the tourism industry generated $20.5 billion in revenue – an 4.9% increase over 2017, and a 53.3% increase from 2008.
Tourism-related provincial tax revenue was more than $1.7 billion in 2018, an increase of 5.1% over 2017.
In 2018, tourism exports generated revenue of $6.9 billion, an increase of 8.2% over 2017.
Tourism’s 15.9% share of export revenue was higher than that of the mineral (13.4%) and agriculture & fish (10.0%) primary resource industries, but lower than that of energy (26.4%) and forest products (34.2%).
GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 2.7% over 2017. The tourism industry contributed $8.3 billion of value added to the BC economy, as measured through GDP (in 2012 constant dollars). This represents 3.0% growth over 2017 and 42.1% growth since 2008.
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 2018, 19,329 tourism-related businesses were in operation in BC, an increase of 0.4% over 2017.
In 2018, 161,500 people were employed in tourism-related businesses, a 4.3% increase over 2017.
In 2018, the tourism industry paid $6.0 billion in wages and salaries, up 5.3% from 2017, and up 56.5% since 2008.
Download the Destination BC 2018 Value of Tourism Snapshot
INTERNATIONAL VISITOR ARRIVALS – 2019
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