Indicators and targets: Tourism

 Jobs and innovation: Tracking progress and results

Targets

By 2025…

  • Increase tourism revenues by 25% (to $128 billion)
  • Increase the number of jobs directly related to tourism by 7.3% (54,000 new jobs)
  • Grow the visitor economy at a rate that outpaces growth in the national economy
  • Increase the number of international arrivals in the winter and shoulder seasons by over 1 million
  • Increase tourism spending outside of Canada's three largest cities and their surrounding areas

In 2018, Canada welcomed a record 21.1 million international arrivals, surpassing the previous year's record of 20.9 million by 1.2% (Figure 14.1). The share of arrivals from countries other than the United States also reached an all-time high of 32%, up from 19% in 2002. The 2017-18 winter and shoulder season (November 2017 to April 2018) saw 6.6 million international arrivals, up 0.2 million from the previous season (Statistics Canada, 2019).

Figure 14.1: International tourist arrivals to Canada

Text version
Year Total From US Non-US
1980 12,816,414 10,964,553 1,851,867
1981 12,840,544 10,968,471 1,872,079
1982 12,216,257 10,462,462 1,753,790
1983 12,523,825 10,912,480 1,611,339
1984 13,005,181 11,295,040 1,710,134
1985 13,201,840 11,557,319 1,644,516
1986 15,659,250 13,609,100 2,050,143
1987 15,016,549 12,719,793 2,296,751
1988 15,525,722 12,763,011 2,762,704
1989 15,156,115 12,184,026 2,972,085
1990 15,242,437 12,251,675 2,990,756
1991 14,941,637 12,002,662 2,938,967
1992 14,765,550 11,818,466 2,947,084
1993 15,136,228 12,023,940 3,112,288
1994 16,000,068 12,542,178 3,457,890
1995 16,968,168 13,005,302 3,962,866
1996 17,328,734 12,908,836 4,419,898
1997 17,668,799 13,401,333 4,267,466
1998 18,869,958 14,892,460 3,977,498
1999 19,411,316 15,180,213 4,231,103
2000 19,627,454 15,188,971 4,438,483
2001 19,679,419 15,570,211 4,109,208
2002 20,057,031 16,167,228 3,889,803
2003 17,534,337 14,232,408 3,301,929
2004 19,144,821 15,087,515 4,057,306
2005 18,770,554 14,390,700 4,379,854
2006 18,265,411 13,855,468 4,409,943
2007 17,934,885 13,375,202 4,559,683
2008 17,142,103 12,503,880 4,638,223
2009 15,737,154 11,667,240 4,069,914
2010 16,219,399 11,870,848 4,348,551
2011 16,015,979 11,596,942 4,419,043
2012 16,344,006 11,886,951 4,457,063
2013 16,059,335 11,477,623 4,581,720
2014 16,536,939 11,523,182 5,013,765
2015 17,977,278 12,668,832 5,308,449
2016 19,971,313 13,891,794 6,079,522
2017 20,846,104 14,328,639 6,517,465
2018 21,133,853 14,440,353 6,693,500

Sources:

Statistics Canada, Table 24-10-0043-01

Tourism is a pillar of the Canadian economy, generating total annual revenues on the order of $100 billion (Figure 14.2), directly supporting over 700,000 jobs (Figure 14.3) and accounting for 2% of GDP (Statistics Canada, 2019). The sector's footprint is virtually everywhere, underpinning businesses and not-for-profits in every province, territory, and city, as well as many small communities. In fact, 56% of tourism jobs are in rural Canada. Tourism is also Canada's largest service export, valued at over $22 billion in 2018 and close to 20% of all service export revenues.

Announced in May 2019, Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, recognizes the high potential of tourism and sets out a whole-of-government approach to sustainably grow Canada's tourism sector for the benefits of all Canadians by addressing structural barriers and helping unlock investment. To make this happen the new strategy will stimulate and diversify Canada's tourism products and experiences, adopt a collaborative public-private sector model for tourism investment and raise the profile and performance of Canada's tourism sector as a key economic driver through federal leadership. To determine how well this strategy is performing, the government has set targets through to 2025 focused on spending by tourist of goods and services, number of jobs, tourism GDP growth, off-season visits and tourism spending outside Canada's top three largest cities.

Figure 14.2: Tourism revenue in Canada, $billion, current prices

Text version
Year Tourism revenue in Canada, $billion, current prices
2014 $86.5
2015 $87.9
2016 $91.2
2017 $97.2
2018 $102.3
Target
2025 $128 (25% increase)

Target: Increase tousim revenue by 25% by 2025.

Source:

Statistics Canada. Table 36-10-0230-01

Figure 14.3: Employment in Canada's tourism sector

Text version
Year Employment generated by tourism activities
2014 700,200
2015 710,300
2016 721,400
2017 735,700
2018 739,100
Target
2025 793K (+54,000)

Target: Increase employment generated by tourism activites by 54,000 jobs by 2025.

Source:

Statistics Canada Table 36-10-0232-01