The latest Tourism Snapshot from Destination Canada (DC)’s Research department shows that more than 3.3 million international travelers came to Canada in the first four months of 2015, a 6% rise on the previous year.
Canada welcomed 1,010,406 international visitors in April 2015, up 3.5% compared to April 2014. In the first four months of 2015, Canada recorded 3,327,995 international arrivals, up 5.7% relative to 2014. The international visitor peak on record during the month of April is 1,167,371 visitors, which occurred in 2001.
In April 2015, overnight arrivals from DC’s European markets decreased 8.9%, mainly due to the Easter holiday shifting to early April this year (Easter fell in late April in 2014). This decline comes after a strong increase (+8.2%) in arrivals from these markets in March 2015. Germany led the contraction (-22.8%), followed by the UK (-7.0%) and France (-2.0%). The decline in overnight arrivals from Europe is likely due to the early Easter holiday period in 2015, which saw more European travellers visiting Canada in late March. In April 2015, Canada welcomed 85,630 visitors from DC Europe markets, considerably less than the peak of 104,800 recorded in April 2000.
Overnight arrivals from DC markets in Asia-Pacific grew significantly (+8.0%) in April 2015, with the exception of Australia, achieving the highest level of arrivals for this month on record, thanks to strong growth from China (+17.6%), India (+10.1%) and South Korea (+9.1%). Arrivals from Japan (+4.0%) rose in April after several months of strong growth, aided by increased air capacity between Tokyo (Haneda) and Vancouver/ Toronto. Year-to-date April 2015, Japan arrivals are up 2.7% compared to the same period in 2014. In April 2015, the number of visitors from the Asia‑Pacific markets reached a new peak for this month with about 78,900 overnight visitors to Canada.
In April 2015, India (+10.1%) continued to record strong gains in overnight visits. The launch of the CAN+ Visa program in India in July 2014 has contributed to sustained growth over the past few months. Year-to-date April 2015, India arrivals are up 9.1% compared to the same period in 2014.
Arrivals from China increased by 17.6% in April 2015 amid sustained growth in the Chinese outbound travel market. Year-to-date, China arrivals are up 20.4% compared to the same period in 2014. China is now the second-largest overseas inbound market after the UK.
South Korea registered an increase in arrivals (+9.1%) in April 2015, facilitated by a slight increase in air capacity on Seoul-Vancouver flights in recent months. Year-to-date April 2015 South Korea arrivals are up 7.9% compared to the same period in 2014.
Arrivals from Australia decline 6.7% in April in part due to the early Easter holiday period. Year-to-date April 2015, arrivals from Australia are up 1.8% compared tothe same period in 2014.
Arrivals from DC’s two Latin American markets remained stable (-0.1%) in April 2015, following a strong increase in arrivals in March 2015 due to the early Easter holiday. YTD April 2015, Latin American arrivals from key markets were up 14%.
April 2015 put a halt to 11 months of consecutive growth from Mexico, with arrivals falling 1.9% relative to April 2014. Arrivals from that country had risen continuously since the implementation of the CAN+Visa program in May 2014. This loss is primarily related to Easter occurring earlier in 2015, with Mexican travellers arriving in Canada at the end of March for the four-day holiday weekend. Over the first four months of 2015, arrivals from Mexico are still trending up 13.6% compared to the same period in 2014.
In April 2015, overnight arrivals from Brazil rose 4.5%, which tempered the decline registered in March (-5.5%). Year-to-date April 2015, Brazil facilitated by the recent launch of the CAN+ Visa program as well as the new Air Canada Rio de Janeiro-Toronto flight (started December 2014) and the new TAM São Paulo-Toronto flight (started in March 2015).