Blogs & Comment

Fewer tourism dollars coming to Canada, more going south

More of us are going down south to spend our hard-earned cash, but fewer Americans are returning the favour.

According to Statistics Canada, for the period of 2000 to 2009, we travellers have been opening our wallets a lot more in the U.S. Over the same period, Americans have been spending less here in Canada. In 2000, Americans made 15.2 million trips and spent $7.3 billion here. By 2002, that had grown to 16.2 million trips and $8.4 billion. By the end of 2009, with the stronger Canadian dollar and more gambling opportunities in the States, those numbers had fallen to 11.7 million trips and $6.1 billion. That’s a spending decline of 27%. Over the same period, trips by Canadians to the U.S. declined from 14.7 million in 2000 to 12.7 million trips and $8.1 billion in 2003. Since then, our better dollar has helped persuade us to take 18 million trips in 2009 (down from 18.9 million in 2008) and spend $12.7 billion, an increase of $3.5 billion (38%). Combined, this has resulted in about $4.7 billion drawn out of Canada’s tourism industry since 2000.