2017 Arrivals from Mexico up by More Than Half over 2016: All the statistical indicators suggest that, while the U.S. tour and travel industry will experience a year-on-year loss in the number of 2017 international visitors, Canada seems headed for a record year. The latest monthly report of Destination Canada, the nation’s tourism promotion arm, showed that the country is on pace to exceed both 2016’s second highest number of annual visitors (19.979 million), as well as the all-time annual record of 20.179 million visitors set in 2002.
In the report, which tallied activity for October 2017, overnight arrivals from Destination Canada’s core international markets rose 5.2 percent for the month, as arrivals from its targeted overseas markets (up 6.2 percent) outpaced arrivals from the United States (up 4.9 percent), which is Canada’s largest source market. While double-digit growth characterized overnight arrivals from Latin America (up 48.1 percent) and Asia-Pacific (up 11 percent), the Europe region lost ground (down 5.3 percent) amid Brexit-related concerns in the UK (down 12.7 percent).
- For the year-to-date (from January to October 2017), overnight arrivals from ten of Destination Canada’s core eleven international markets increased over the same period in 2016, with the overseas markets gaining nine percent and arrivals from the U.S. improving by 2.9 percent. The UK (down 3.3 per cent) registered the sole year-to-date decline in arrivals. U.S. arrivals by air and other non-auto entry modes were up 5.8 percent and 10.1 percent respectively, while auto arrivals remained on par with the first ten months of 2016.
- Destination Canada’s Latin American markets continued to lead international arrivals to Canada, with Mexico—its visitor traffic to the U.S. is down for the first seven months of 2017 is down 8.5 percent—showing a year-to-date increase in visitor numbers of nearly 52 percent. The major reason for the stratospheric increase in Mexican travel to Canada was the announcement in June 2016 that, starting in December 2016, travel to Canada for Mexicans would be visa-free. It was part of an agreement in which Mexico announced it would open its markets to Canadian beef.