April 27 2012 by Bryson Forbes
After a very difficult three years, the Canadian Tourism Commission is full of optimism. The reason to smile is that for the first time ever in a single month (February 2012), the eleven markets that they have identified as the key markets for Canada were all up in visitor numbers to Canada. This is great news for all of us as travel and tourism has such a positive impact on our overall economy!
Leading the charge were Brazil and Australia and interestingly February is an attractive month for them to come to Canada to ski! Both Brazil and Australia are very active cultures and they came in droves this year to hit our slopes.
A really encouraging stat was that 32% more Mexicans came to Canada this February than the same time last year. Canada has been marketing very aggressively in places like Mexico and it's nice to see that it is starting to pay off.
Canada for the second year in a row was also recently named as the number one country brand, which certainly helps draw attention around the world.
Germany and France have continued to surge while the UK although up in February has slowed, as the country gets ready to host the upcoming Olympics.
Not surprisingly travellers from India and China, the world's two fastest-growing economic powerhouses continued to show their appetite for Canadian travel experiences, with growth of 15.8% and 7.9% respectively. Canada businesses like hotels and restaurants will be well served to take note of the changing cultural make up of visitors and try to cater to their needs.
The US, which makes up the lions share of our inbound international travel had a great month with air travel up almost 11% and auto travel also up by almost 6%.
All these stats are terrific for Canada and we certainly hope that it is a trend that will continue. During the last three years Canadians have continued to travel abroad (and that's not changing our outbound travel was up 8% in February) but it's great to see more people coming to see our wonderful country.
What can we do to help keep this trend continue?