Canadians took 316 million trips in Canada and abroad, spending $83.8 billion in 2018, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported on Tuesday that Canadians made 278 million domestic trips in 2018, representing 88 per cent of all trips made by residents of Canada. Spending by Canadians on trips within Canada totalled $45.7 billion, or over half of their total travel expenditures in 2018.

“Ontario, the most populous province, received 117.5 million visits, most of which were Ontarians visiting within their home province (93.4 per cent). Another 7.7 million visits were made by out-of-province residents in Canada. In addition to having the highest proportion of in-province visits, Ontario also had the second-highest percentage of same-day visits (66.4 per cent),” said the report.

Travel luggage
33 million visits to Alberta

“Quebec (57.5 million visits) and British Columbia (34.2 million visits) were the second- and third-most visited provinces, followed by Alberta (33 million visits).

“The Maritime provinces had the largest shares of Canadian visitors coming from other provinces. In Prince Edward Island, 53.0 per cent of all visits in the province by Canadians were by out-of-province residents. The proportions of out-of-province resident visits were 25 per cent in New Brunswick and 21.8 per cent in Nova Scotia. For the Maritimes as a whole, the largest outside sources of Canadian visitors were Ontario (1.4 million visits), Quebec (760,000 visits) and Alberta (224,000 visits).”

StatsCan said Canadian travellers spent on average $160 per trip within Canada – $80 per same-day trip and $330 per overnight trip. The largest spending categories for Canadians travelling domestically were accommodation (23.2 per cent), food and beverage services in restaurants and bars (21.4 per cent) and gas and other vehicle operation costs (14.8 per cent). Other significant expense items were in-store grocery purchases (10.1 per cent), recreation (6.2 per cent) and clothing (5.7 per cent).

The report said visiting friends or relatives (115.6 million trips) was the main trip purpose for roughly two out of every five trips in Canada by Canadians in 2018. About one-third of all domestic trips were for holidays, leisure or recreation (96.4 million trips). Trips for other reasons such as attending conventions, trade shows or shopping represented 14.2 per cent of all domestic trips, while 9.6 per cent were for business-related purposes.

Statistics Canada said Canadian residents made 27.7 million trips to the United States in 2018 (72.9 per cent of trips abroad), spending $20.2 billion.

In 2018, Canadian residents made 10.3 million trips to overseas countries (countries other than the United States), accounting for over one-quarter of all trips abroad during the year. Spending on overseas trips, at $18.0 billion, comprised 47.2 per cent of total travel spending abroad by Canadians, it added.

“The overseas countries most visited by Canadians in 2018 were Mexico (1,694,000 visits) and Cuba (895,000 visits), followed by the United Kingdom (748,000 visits), the Dominican Republic (585,000 visits) and China (580,000).”

– Mario Toneguzzi

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