Fewer Canadians Planning Travel to the US

Has the “Trump slump” hit Canadian travelers? New data suggests fewer Canadians are traveling to the U.S. these days.

According to new research from Global Data, the number of outbound travelers departing from Canada to the U.S. is set for a continuous decline from 23.3 million visitors in 2013 to 14.9 million in 2022, decreasing at a compound annual rate of change (CARC) of -4.8 percent.

While the data shows that the “Trump slump” plays a part, cheap flights to Mexico are also enticing Canadians to travel farther afield on vacation as is the desire to go somewhere new.

“The U.S. has long been and still is the most popular destination for Canadians,” said Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism associate analyst at GlobalData. “Affordability and accessibility is of great importance to them and the U.S. provides this in abundance. However, destinations which can provide cheap flights such as Mexico and low cost, novel experiences such as India are experiencing high growth in Canadian visitor numbers as millennials, aged 22-36, and baby boomers, aged 55-75, have realized their money can get them further afield.”

A decline in Canadian visitors to the U.S. began in 2013. From 2013 to 2018, visitation numbers from Canada to the US decreased from 23.3 million to 18.9 million due to economic concerns and a recession. However, from 2018 to 2022, negative growth will continue, decreasing by 5.7 percent despite the fact that the economy has improved.

“Canada is one of the slowest growing markets for outbound tourism out of all Group of Seven (G-7) countries, which is a trend that international destinations attempting to attract Canadian tourism need to be mindful of. Canada’s economy has been experiencing improved growth in recent years compared to countries with a higher total GDP in the G-7 group,” said Hollister. “But this has not encouraged a large increase in Canadians taking international vacations, mainly being due to the perceived cost of international travel.”

Taking into consideration the desires of Canadian travelers could help improve these numbers. Currently, 33 percent of Canadians have no holiday plans, and 23 percent are looking to take city breaks. GlobalData suggests visibly promoting cities such as Denver and Dallas to Canadians who haven’t made any travel plans and could still be motivated to head south of the border.

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