Issue 20-91: Visitor Entries

May 22, 2020

International visitor entries to Canada through B.C. came to a near halt in the latter part of March, the result of government-imposed travel restrictions and border closings due to COVID-19. Overall travel to B.C. was down 58.2% (seasonally adjusted) in March compared to February, as the number of visitors from the U.S. was more than cut in half (-59.2%). Meanwhile, the number of travellers from overseas was also down starkly (-54.7%), with sharp declines in the number of European (-56.8%) and Asian (-53.8%) visitors coming to British Columbia. Travel from other major markets for overseas travellers also fell sharply, including Oceania (-55.1%), North America, Central America and Caribbean (-53.5%), South America (-49.2%) and Africa (-48.5%).

Similarly, the number of Canadians returning home via B.C. from the U.S. and overseas was down by 55.4% in March, as Canadians were less likely to have been travelling outside the country
(-41.6%) than in February.

Overall travel to Canada eased by 54.2% in March, as visits from the U.S. (-54.6%) and overseas sources (-52.7%) were down notably from the previous month.

Given that travel restrictions were put in place near the end of March, declines in April are predicted to be even more pronounced.

Data Source: Statistics Canada