Tourism in Canada is on the rise and should see another strong year in 2016. Domestic visits are projected to increase by 2.1 per cent, while overnight visits to Canada from the U.S. and overseas are expected to increase by 5.1 and 5.2 per cent this year, respectively, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s National and Metropolitan Travel Market Outlooks.



Tourism in Canada report highlights:

  • Overnight visits to Canada from the U.S. and overseas are expected to grow by 5.1 and 5.2 per cent this year, respectively.
  • Domestic visits within Canada are set to rise by 2.1 per cent in 2016.
  • Canadian travel prices are forecast to increase by 1.7 per cent this year.
  • Halifax, Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver will all attract more visitors in 2016.

“A favourable exchange rate coupled with low gas prices will make Canada an attractive destination for both Canadian and international travellers in 2016,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute.

Regionally, the nine Canadian cities covered in the report, about tourism in Canada  should see varied levels of tourism growth in 2016. Edmonton will see the lowest growth at 0.8 per cent, while Vancouver will see the highest increase with overnight visits expected to increase by 4.1 per cent in 2016. Furthermore, the new non-stop Vancouver – Dublin flights will contribute $2.6 million to B.C.s’ Gross Domestic Product and will add 37 jobs at YVR and in nearby hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Canadian cities:

  • Halifax—Reinforced by strengthening economic prospects and recent hotel room additions, overnight travel to Halifax is forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2016. The number of Canadians travelling to the city is also expected grow by 2.2 per cent this year. Meanwhile, U.S. travel to Halifax should get a boost from a new direct air connection with Boston.
  • Quebec City—Overnight travel to Québec City is projected to increase 3 per cent in 2016, with the strongest gains coming from international markets. Most notably, overnight visits from the U.S. are forecast to increase by 5.1 per cent, while visits from overseas should increase by 5.3 per cent.
  • Montreal—Overnight visits are projected to increase by 3.4 per cent, with the strongest growth coming from overseas markets. New attractions and greater hotel inventory should help stimulate pleasure travel while large conventions, such as the World Social Forum and the International Economic Forum of the Americas, should boost business travel.
  • Ottawa–Gatineau—Business travel to Canada’s capital is expected to experience slightly stronger growth due to an increase in public sector spending and employment. Low gas prices should also help increase auto travel from nearby border states. Overall, overnight visits to the Nation’s Capital should rise by 2.7 per cent.
  • Toronto—Tourism activity in the city should get a lift this year from the city’s hosting of major sporting events, such as the NBA All-Star Game, the Grey Cup, and the World Cup of Hockey. All told, overnight visits to Toronto are projected to increase by 3.3 per cent in 2016.
  • Winnipeg—Solid economic prospects and rising consumer confidence should support overnight visits to the city, which are set to increase by 2.7 per cent. Moreover, Winnipeg’s tourism industry should receive a boost from the NHL Heritage Classic Game.
  • Calgary—Weaker economic conditions should benefit Alberta’s pleasure travel as they encourage Albertans to travel closer to home. The city’s pleasure travel industry should also benefit from hosting the 2016 Juno Awards and the opening of the National Music Centre.
  • Edmonton—Tourism in Edmonton is in for another difficult year. The local and provincial economic woes have taken a toll on corporate profitability and lowered consumer confidence in the province. Overnight visits to the city will increase by a slight 0.8 per cent in 2016.
  • Vancouver—Overnight visits to Vancouver are poised to grow by 4.1 per cent in 2016, thanks to the strength of domestic and international markets. Pleasure travel to the city should receive a boost from the opening of the Trump International Hotel and from hosting the World Rugby Sevens Tournament.

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Where Canadians travel at home:

The force behind tourism in Canada are Canadians themselves. This is why the travel experts at Hotels.com™ have shared a list of exciting global events and how Canadian travelers can get the most bang for their buck by enjoying exiting events at home.

“Celebrating milestones or festivals abroad can be such an exciting and memorable experience,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert at Hotels.com. “Many of the largest festivals have smaller equivalents so we’ve suggested some alternative events and outlined the hotel costs to help you budget your travel or staycation dollars.”

 

Amway Canadian Championship (June 2016) Canada’s five professional soccer teams, three in the MLS and two in the NASL, compete for the national club championship, the Voyageurs Cup. The two-leg finals are held in the last two weeks of June in the cities of the finalists. Last year’s champion was Vancouver.

Celebrate music, culture and good times at Osheaga in Montreal. (CNW Group/Hotels.com)
Celebrate music, culture and good times at Osheaga in Montreal. (CNW Group/Hotels.com)

Osheaga Arts and Music Festival, Montreal (July 29 – 31, 2016)
Now in its 10th year, this popular music festival on île Sainte-Hélène, site of Expo 67, continues to attract big-name acts year after year. This year’s headliners Radiohead and Lana del Rey are joined by dozens of other of the world’s hottest musicians for a weekend of sun and fun.

Calgary Stampede (July 8 – 17, 2016)
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has been Calgary’s defining event for more than a century. While rodeo competitions of such events as calf-roping and chuck-wagon racing are its biggest draw, the festival has grown to include a series of popular outdoor concerts and other community happenings, like the ever-popular pancake breakfasts. Be sure to wear a cowboy hat while you’re there so you will fit in!

Festival Western de Sainte-Tite (Sept. 9 – 18, 2016).  Would it surprise you to learn that the second largest rodeo in Canada is held in Quebec? Every September, the tiny town of Saint-Tite shuts down for two weeks to host one of the most popular rodeos on the eastern circuit. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to watch top rodeo stars compete for big money prizes.

Central Canada Comic-Con (Oct. 28 – 30, 2016). Canada has its share of comic-book conventions with notable ones being held in Toronto and Vancouver, but Winnipeg’s C4 punches above its weight and draws fans from all over the country. One of this year’s notable guests is Canada’s own William Shatner, the living legend best known for his role as Star Trek’s Capt. Kirk.

 

It is affirmative that tourism in Canada is on the rise. Domestic visits are about to increase showing a genuine interest in Canada. On the other hand the massive increase of overseas travelers in indicative of  Canada’s tourism sector unique capability to provide the necessary accommodations, attractions and top 100 outdoor restaurants enhanced by Canada’s own natural beauty.