Canada hosted a record breaking 20.8 million tourists in 2017, the highest number ever in Canadian history, according to Destination Canada.
The preliminary data, released on Tuesday by Statistics Canada, shows that Canada has surpassed the previous record set in 2002 by almost a million.
According to the Federal Government, the 2017 figures are a 4.4% increase over the near-record year Canada’s tourism set in 2016.
“Today’s results are yet another reminder of what has been clear for a while now: Canada is back. And more and more, the world wants to come and visit. We are excited to share our vibrant cities, beautiful natural attractions, diverse cultures and proud history with record numbers of visitors,” said Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, in a statement.
“This is great news for our tourism sector, and the more than 1.8 million jobs that depend on it. We are only just getting started, too.”
The share of international overnight arrivals to Canada from countries other than the United States reached an all-time high of 31% in 2017, up from 19% during the previous peak year of 2002, according to Destination Canada.
As for where the travellers are coming from, China, France, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, India and Brazil all had their highest arrivals in 2017.
The Government of Canada is committed to growing Canadian tourism, and has made key investments through Budget 2017 and launched Canada’s New Tourism Vision.
The Vision aims to increase the number of international tourists to Canada by 30% by 2021, double the number of Chinese visitors by the same year, and position Canada to compete for a top 10 destination ranking by 2025, according to the federal government.
As well as the best year ever for total arrivals to Canada, China, France, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, India and Brazil all had their highest arrivals in 2017 too https://t.co/D5GnoRSOwR pic.twitter.com/f7GQEHkJ4t
— Destination Canada (@DestinationCAN) February 20, 2018