Last year saw Canadian outbound tourism hit record levels. Not only did Canadians travel more frequently, yet they also travelled further and spent more money. Indeed, 2006 became the first year after the September 11 attacks on the USA, when the Canadian tourism market showed that it is in full recovery. There is no reason to believe that the figures are not likely to increase in the next few years as surveys have showed that Canadians are now more enthusiastic about travelling abroad than ever before and plan to spread their wings even more. The lower cost of travelling has certainly played its part in such a successful year.
2006 was a year when Canadians set the record for travelling outside the US. In fact, just under a third of the places visited were outside the all-time favoured neighbouring destination of the US. The most popular destination was Mexico even despite numerous acts of violence shown by Mexicans towards holiday-making Canadian citizens. The most horrific case was the still-unsolved murder of a Canadian couple in northern Mexico in 2005. This along with further acts of violence and crime has not deterred Canadians from visiting Mexico. The number of visitors was indeed up 8.2% in 2005.
In total, Canadians managed to spend a whopping $20.1 billion whilst making trips outside Canada last year. This figure easily surpassed that of the previous year. An astonishing 22.7 million overnight trips resulted in such a spending spree. Outside the US and Mexico, France, Cuba and the Dominican Republic were also high on the Canadian visit list. Included on such a list was China, mainly due to China’s growth on a global scale and the increase in the number of flight connections between Canada and China. More and more countries are set to join the above-mentioned in the years to come.