The Daily — National tourism indicators, fourth quarter 2021



Released: 2022-03-30

Tourism spending in Canada rose 8.7% in the fourth quarter, following a 29.3% increase in the third quarter. Annually, tourism spending increased by 4.4% in 2021 after a 49.0% decline in 2020. Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 11.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and by 5 .0% per year.

Despite the continued threat of COVID-19 and the emergence of new variants throughout 2021, the increase in vaccination rates throughout the year and the resulting easing of restrictions have led to increased tourism spending in Canada in 2021. At the end of the third quarter, fully vaccinated travelers were allowed to enter Canada for non-vaccinations. essential travel. During the fourth quarter, the World Health Organization declared Omicron the latest variant of concern at the end of November. As a result, the Government of Canada reinstated certain travel requirements on December 21, such as the requirement for a negative molecular test result for COVID-19 for all travelers arriving in Canada.

The growth in tourism spending in the fourth quarter was partly attributable to the increase in spending on passenger air transport (+27.5%). This reflects the easing of travel requirements seen through December 21. Higher spending on accommodation services (+12.3%) also contributed to the quarterly increase. Tourism spending was 64.4% of what it was in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the pandemic.

Annually, tourism spending increased by 4.4% in 2021, with the main contributors being accommodation (+16.8%) and food services (+13.3%). This more than offset annual declines in passenger air travel (-17.8%) and travel services (-33.3%).

Chart 1

Chart 1: Increase in tourism spending in the fourth quarter
Tourism spending increases in the fourth quarter


Chart 1: Increase in tourism spending in the fourth quarter

Tourism GDP rose 11.9% in the fourth quarter, following a 32.4% increase in the third quarter. Transportation (+47.7%) and accommodation services (+11.3%) were the main contributors to tourism GDP growth. Despite this increase, tourism GDP in the fourth quarter was 35.0% below pre-pandemic levels. As economy-wide GDP increased by 1.6% in the fourth quarter, tourism’s share of GDP increased from 1.2% in the third quarter to 1.3% in the fourth quarter.

Annually, tourism GDP grew by 5.0% in 2021, a rate similar to that of the overall economy (+4.6%), leaving tourism’s share of GDP stable at 1.0% for l ‘year. Accommodation services (+16.4%) contributed the most to the increase, which was partly offset by declines in transportation (-14.2%) and other tourism industries (-6.8%).

Employment attributable to tourism rose 5.1% in the fourth quarter, following a 15.8% increase in the third quarter. Food services (+4.8%) and accommodation services (+5.7%) were the main contributors to growth in the fourth quarter.

Over the course of 2021, employment attributable to tourism increased by 1.5%. Economy-wide employment increased by 8.5%, leading to a decline in the share of employment attributable to tourism from 2.8% in 2020 to 2.6% in 2021. The main contributor to growth was food services (+8.1%). Air Transport (-22.5%) and travel services (-18.3%) were down in 2021, despite gains in the fourth quarter.

Chart 2

Chart 2: Growth in tourism gross domestic product and jobs attributable to tourism in the fourth quarter
Growth in tourism gross domestic product and jobs attributable to tourism in the fourth quarter


Chart 2: Growth in tourism gross domestic product and jobs attributable to tourism in the fourth quarter

Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada declines

Tourism spending by Canadians in Canada fell 1.0% in the fourth quarter, as spending on most products fell. The increase in spending on passenger air transport (+9.2%) partially offset the quarterly decline.

Annually, domestic tourism spending increased by 5.0% in 2021. This was mainly due to an increase in spending on accommodation services (+18.8%). The growth was partially offset by lower spending in passenger air transport (-19.0%).

Spending by international visitors continues to rise

Tourism spending by international visitors to Canada continued to recover in the fourth quarter (+124.5%), after rising 250.5% in the third quarter. Accommodation services (+125.2%) contributed the most to growth in the fourth quarter, followed by air passenger transport (+150.7%).

Despite the very strong growth in the third and fourth quarters, spending by international visitors fell by 2.3% per year in 2021. The annual decline in air passenger transport (-12.0%) was enough to offset growth in accommodation (+5.0%) and food services (+3.9%). Overall, tourism exports in 2021 were 16.6% of what they were in 2019, before the pandemic.

Due to strong growth in the second half of 2021, the share of exports in tourism spending climbed to 15.9% in the fourth quarter, from 2.8% in the second quarter. Each year, the share of exports in tourism spending fell to 8.3% in 2021, from 8.9% in 2020 and 26.6% in 2019.

Chart 3

Chart 3: The share of tourism spending by international visitors continues to improve in the fourth quarter
The share of tourism spending by international visitors continues to improve in the fourth quarter


Chart 3: The share of tourism spending by international visitors continues to improve in the fourth quarter





Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations’ transformative action plan that addresses pressing global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

The National Tourism Indicators are an example of how Statistics Canada supports reporting on the Global Sustainable Development Goals. This version will be used to help measure the following objective:

Notice to readers

Tourism expenditure and gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates are expressed in real (i.e. price-adjusted) terms, using the base year 2012, as well as seasonally adjusted , unless otherwise stated.

Employment data are also seasonally adjusted.

The share of tourism in economy-wide employment is calculated using seasonally adjusted values.

To learn more about seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Associated percentage changes are presented at quarterly rates, unless otherwise indicated.

GDP for the whole economy is obtained from table 36-10-0104-01. Employment in the whole economy is obtained from table 36-10-0207-01.

Non-tourism industries, also called other industries, are industries that would continue to exist in the absence of tourism. For example, the crop production and oil refinery industries produce products that are purchased by tourists. However, neither would cease to exist in the absence of tourism. Tourism GDP takes into account the production of these products purchased by tourists.

Non-tourism productsalso referred to as other products, are products for which a significant portion of its total demand in Canada does not come from visitors, such as groceries, clothing and alcohol purchased in stores.

With the release of the National Tourism Indicators for the fourth quarter of 2021, all data from the first quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2021 has been revised.

Revisions over the period 2020 to 2021 are expected to be higher than normal due to the volatile economic situation, especially for the tourism sector.

The National Tourism Indicators are funded by Destination Canada.

next release

National Tourism Indicators data for the first quarter of 2022 will be released on July 6.


Some products

The Provincial and Territorial Tourism Satellite Account data visualization product, which is part of Statistics Canada – Data visualization products (Catalog number71-607-X), is available.

The Economic accounts statistics portal, accessible from the Topics module of the Statistics Canada website presents an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

the Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalog number13-605-X) is available.

the User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalog number13-606-G) is available.

the Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalog number13-607-X) is available.

Contact information

For more information, or to inquire about the concepts, methods, or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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