Issue 20-27: Visitor Entries

February 21, 2020

Visitor entries to B.C. from the U.S. and overseas was up (+2.6%, seasonally adjusted) for the second straight month in December. Entries from overseas sources jumped 4.9% and travel to B.C. from the U.S. climbed 1.7%.

Overall travel to Canada rose 2.5% in December. Visits from the U.S. were up a notable 2.7%, while travel from overseas sources also increased (+1.9%) from the previous month. Meanwhile, the number of Canadians returning home from abroad rose 2.9%.

Annual, 2019

B.C. received more than 6.2 million international tourists from abroad in 2019, the highest number on record and up 2.6% from 2018. Growth in numbers of tourists from the United States (+2.6%) was on par with the increase from overseas countries (+2.5%).

The number of non-resident travellers entering Canada via B.C. borders increased 3.7% to about 8.6 million in 2019. Accounting for nearly three quarters of the total visitor entries through B.C. last year, entries from the U.S. climbed 3.7%.

British Columbia welcomed a record 2.3 million overseas travellers (from countries other than the U.S.) in 2019, up 3.8% from 2018. Last year saw 3.0% more visitors from Asia, the largest overseas market for B.C., than in 2018. The province saw a similar increase in the number of European visitors (+3.8%) and welcomed considerably more travellers from Africa (+18.4%).

Note: international tourists are those making overnight trips, whereas travellers include both same-day and overnight visits. The majority of same-day trips involve Canadian or U.S. residents making trips by car across the Canada-US border.

Data Source: Statistics Canada