America’s Largest Source Market Also Has Record Year as a Receptive Market: Following a cataclysmic drop of more than 4 million visitors to the United States from 2013-2016, Canada has come roaring back, increasing by more than two million the number of visits by Canadians to the USA in 2017-2018. It is difficult to understate the importance of Canada as a source market to the United States, as its travelers generate about one out of every four international visits to the U.S. Also, the inbound number has a way to go before it returns to the high figure before the decline. (Figures for 2018 are based on preliminary estimates by Statistics Canada.)
The team at INBOUND will have to study these data—they were just released by Destination Canada, the nation’s DMO—but it is clear without further study that the increase in visitor numbers, as reflected in the table below, defy one of the conventional beliefs among those who analyze the inbound tourism market for the USA: that there is a correlation between currency exchange rates and international inbound visitor numbers.
A strong U.S. dollar has apparently not discouraged more Canadian visits to America in the past two years. As the figures in the second table below indicate, the Canadian dollar is worth $0.76 against the U.S. dollar. This is about where it was four years ago, after it had tumbled more than 15 percent in value over a nine-month period from the end of June 2015 to the end of February 2016. Things seemed to have bottomed out the same year. Perhaps Canadian consumers and travelers have been able to adapt to weaker Canadian dollar.
Meanwhile, It’s another Record Year for Inbound Tourism for Canada: As the graphic below illustrates, it was a very, very good year for Canada overall, and for most of its core 10 markets for international visitors.
Percentages shown are shifts compared to 2017. Data shows overnight arrivals to Canada, single day trips by land are excluded. Arrival figures are preliminary estimates and are subject to change. Refer to the Dec.2018 Snapshot report for more details. Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey – Frontier Counts (Dec. 2018).