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Tourism 2012 Year-in-review

CTC snapshot

Ongoing economic troubles in many countries left a global travel market still rather shaky on its legs in 2012. Yet there are signs of steady recovery in many markets, making the outlook for 2013 better than a glass half full.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department has dug deep into the statistics to assemble the Tourism Snapshot 2012 Year-in-review. This report is invaluable for both the tourism industry and media to assess the landscape for (CTC)’s key international markets.

  •     Canada rolled out the welcome mat for 16 million international overnight visitors in 2012, a 2% year-on-year rise that was driven by a 3% leap in American travellers.
  •     More tourists translated into more money flowing into Canada, with international visitor spending contributing a tidy $12.3 billion to the national economy, up 2% on 2011.
  •     Tourism demand grew 4% in 2012, reaching $82 billion. Of that, domestic demand thickened 5% to hit $66 billion, with international demand nudging up 3% to $16 billion.
  •     The total tourism gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 was $32.3 billion, 2% of the overall national GDP.
  •     Youth is having its fling, with overseas arrivals aged 24 or under climbing 24% to make up 20% of the total.
  •     Canadians sought more international adventures in 2012, taking more 32 million overnight trips, a 6% year-on-year gain.
  •     Those travelling Canucks spent big, too, shelling out over $30 billion with Uncle Sam and elsewhere internationally.
  •     Chinese travellers had an unquenchable thirst for Canadian adventures in 2012, taking 273,000 overnight trips to this country, a 16% year-on-year climb.
  •     Brazilians love to spend on their travels: with an average of $1,941 per trip and an average stay of 19.5 days, they again had the deepest pockets of all travellers from CTC’s key international markets.
  •     The Mexico market maintained its strong recovery, registering a 6% boost in Canadian arrivals.
  •     Meanwhile, the South Korea market endured another dip in fortunes, with Canadian overnighters falling 2% to 137,000.
  •     Australia remained a golden market for Canada, with 219,000 eager Aussies crossing the Pacific in 2012, a 2% year-on-year boost.
  •     It was Yankee doodle dandy for the US leisure travel market, which grew 3% on 2011, clocking up 10.1 million overnight trips.
  •     The US meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT) looked robust, too, in 2012 with 1.8 million overnight trips, up 2%. These business folk spent $1.5 billion on the road in Canada.
  •     The UK is Canada’s largest overseas market, but struggled again in 2012 due to government austerity measures tightening belts amid a Eurozone economic crisis. Overnight visitor numbers to Canada fell 4% as a consequence.
  •     Subdued economic news also put Germans off long-haul travel, with Canadian overnighters falling 5% in 2012 to 277,000.

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