Lifting of Canadian pandemic restrictions helps boost tourist spending

International traveler spending soared in the fourth quarter of 2022, after Canada lifted pandemic-era travel restrictions, according to Statistics Canada.

The nation’s numbers cruncher today released data showing that international visitors to Canada spent about $3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, 87.5 percent more than the $1.6 billion those visitors spent in the same quarter. quarter in 2021.

The fourth quarter of 2022 began on October 1, when visitors no longer needed to show proof of vaccination and no longer needed to use the country’s ArriveCan app to enter the country. Airline and train passengers on that date were no longer required to wear masks, and cruise ship passengers on that date were no longer required to provide pre-boarding tests that showed they were negative for COVID-19.

Tourism executives had been calling on the government to lift those pandemic-era travel restrictions for many months before October 1.

Americans dominated international visitor spending in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2022, with about $1.7 billion, or 57 percent of the money spent in the three-month period.

For both US visitors and international visitors from outside the US, spending was roughly double that seen during the fourth quarter of 2021, and just over three-quarters of the spending seen in the same quarter of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic virtually stopped. travel.

While the fourth quarter of 2022 was the first in years without COVID-19 restrictions, there were some roadblocks to travel. Severe winter storms in Vancouver and across the country disrupted air travel in December 2022.

Spending by US residents was concentrated in four provinces: Ontario, BC, Quebec and Alberta. Together, those provinces accounted for 88.9 percent of total international visitor spending, according to Statistics Canada.

Top spending by US travelers included lodging ($611.8 million), food and beverages ($475.5 million), and transportation within Canada ($262.9 million). Together, these expenses accounted for 80.4 percent of all spending by US visitors.

The $1.3 billion international visitors spent in Canada in Q4 2022 was higher than the $752.7 million spent in Q4 2021. Approximately 92.4% of that spending was in Ontario, BC, Quebec and Alberta, according to Statistics Canada. .

Residents of Asia and Oceania spent approximately $621.5 million in Canada in that quarter, while people living in Europe spent $514.0 million, according to Statistics Canada. That spending amounted to about 84.7 percent of total spending.

About 37.3 percent of the spend was on food and beverages, while accommodation absorbed about 29.5 percent of the spend. Transportation costs generated 12.4 percent of spending, according to Statistics Canada.

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