The just-released final monthly report for 2016 of Destination Canada (DC) showed that it finished 2016 with a strong December and a total number of visitors for the year that was close to a record. Some highlights from Destination Canada’s final monthly report for 2016 included the following:
- With 19.98 million international overnight arrivals, 2016 saw the second highest number of arrivals in Canadian history, falling only four-tenths of a percent short of the record high set in 2002 (20.06 million).
- In 2016, robust overnight arrivals were achieved in all eleven of Destination Canada’s target international markets, with arrivals from the United States, up 9.7 percent, realizing its highest observed level since 2005, and arrivals from DC overseas markets, up 16.0 percent, topping the record high established in 2015.
- Overnight arrivals from the USA in 2016 hit 13.90 million, up 9.7 percent over 2015. The strong performance of US arrivals was underpinned by growth in arrivals by air (+17.4 percent) throughout 2016 and solid overall gains in auto arrivals (+6.8%). The number of Americans arriving to Canada by air breached the 4 million mark for the first time with 4.53 million arrivals, an all-time high nearly 15.3 percent higher than the previous peak from 2004.
- In 2016, strong performances in all DC overseas markets helped establish new record peaks for Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Individual DC markets with new record peaks include France, China, South Korea, India, Australia, and Brazil.
- Capping off a the year for international arrivals to Canada, December 2016’s total of 1.34 million international overnight arrivals set a new record for arrivals for that month with 11.3 percent growth over the previous high set in 2015.
- In December 2016, solid double-digit gains were set in 9 of DC’s 10 overseas markets, with exceptionally high results emerging from Mexico (+69.1 percent) and India (+43.4 percent), as well as record December monthly numbers for France (+22.1 percent), Germany (+19.0 percent), China (+17.7 percent), Australia (+23.1 percent) and Brazil (+23.2 percent).
- Arrival figures are preliminary estimates and are subject to change.
- Air seat capacity is the variation in the total number of seats on direct commercial scheduled flights during the current month and YTD relative to the same periods in the previous year.
iii. The exchange rate variation is calculated on the average value of the Canadian dollar during during the current month and YTD relative to the same periods in the previous yea.
USA Traffic Highlights: Due in no small way to the strong U.S. dollar vs. the Canadian loon, arrivals from the U.S. into Canada reached levels they had not seen since 2005. Some details:
- With 911,921 overnight visitors from the U.S. in December, Canada registered a 7.3 percent increase over December 2015, bringing the annual figure to 13.90 million (+9.7 percent over 2015). This December total was the highest since 2002 and the second-highest overall, while the annual figure is the highest since 2005.
- Automobile arrivals continue to make up the largest share of USA visitors (59 percnet in December, up 2.9 percent over December 2015); however, the growth in arrivals from the United States was driven largely by air arrivals which were up 15.3 percent in December and 17.4 percent over 2016. The 4.53 million air arrivals registered in 2016 are the highest on record despite negligible air capacity expansion. While overall arrivals from the USA are still short of those between 1998 and 2005, a relatively larger share of USA arrivals now fly into Canada rather than driving.
- The top five states of origin for U.S; overnight arrivals by vehicle in 2016 were New York (18.4 percent of arrivals); Washington State (15.6 percent); Michigan (11.8 percent); Massachusetts (5.1 percent), and Pennsylvania (5.0 percent).
- Among medium-haul states, the largest share arrived from California (2.1 percent) and Florida (2.0 percent).
- Washington State registered the biggest share of year-over-year arrival growth in 2016 with 18.7 percent of all additional arrivals.
- Arrivals to Canada by other modes of transportation such as train, cruise, or bus also saw growth with increases of 7.0 percent in December and 3.7 percent throughout 2016.