Modest growth expected in tourism industry this year

www.conferenceboard.ca

OTTAWA, July 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Overnight stays in Canada are forecast to rise by a modest 1.8 per cent in 2012, as a result of balanced growth in both domestic and international visits, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Travel Markets Outlook-Spring 2012: National Focus. This report, published twice a year, provides a five-year forecast for the tourism industry.

"While we expect continued growth in the number of overnight domestic trips, Canadians' limited gains in household discretionary income will curtail the average spending per trip," said Greg Hermus, Associate Director, Canadian Tourism Research Institute.

Overnight visits from the United States are expected to edge up by a slight 0.5 per cent in 2012. Led by robust travel from emerging markets and Japan, overseas visits are forecast to grow by 3.1 per cent in 2012.

Overall tourism spending is expected to increase by 3.8 per cent in 2012. Following a sharp rise during 2011, travel prices are expected to post more modest growth of 1.5 per cent in 2012.

The outlook also provides tourism insights for all 10 provinces and Yukon.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador - intra-provincial tourism will be solid, but little growth in overnight visits from the rest of Atlantic Canada is expected, due to slow economic growth in those provinces.
  • Prince Edward Island - Visits from overseas are forecast to grow strongly this year, especially from Japanese tourists who did not travel following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
  • Nova Scotia - Visits to the province will grow at a modest pace due to weaker economic growth in other Atlantic provinces, but overseas visits will increase at a healthy pace.
  • New Brunswick - domestic travel to the province will post only a modest increase this year over 2011. On the bright side, the addition of Saint John to the itineraries of several cruise ships has spawned growth in this segment.
  • Quebec - Domestic travel to and within Quebec will see modest growth, but overnight visits from France are expected to continue to grow this year.
  • Ontario - Growth in travel from China and India is expected to offset weakness from Europe, boosting overseas arrivals.
  • Manitoba - The province's booming mining sector is expected to help boost growth in domestic business travel.
  • Saskatchewan - growth in visits from Alberta will be strong, but overseas arrivals from Europe will ease due to the European debt crisis.
  • Alberta - In addition to strong intra-provincial tourism, the centennial Calgary Stampede is expected to draw a record crowd.
  • British Columbia - China's granting of Approved Destination Status for Canada should lead to continued growth in Chinese tourists to the province.
  • Yukon - The booming mining sector will draw business travelers from B.C. and the Prairies.

A separate publication provides a tourism outlook for nine major Canadian cities.

For further information:

Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448
E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca