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Destination Canada releases the 2019 Global Tourism Watch

September 10, 2019 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The use of travel agents and tour operators among Australian travellers for planning or booking their trip to Canada is holding strong despite a global fall in travel agent usage for booking long haul travel.

This is one of the key findings handed down in Destination Canada’s 2018 Global Tourism Watch, published in August 2019.

Canada welcomed 349,000 visitors from Australia in 2018. Additionally, overnight arrivals from Australia from January – June 2019 increased by 3% to reach 156K, with more travellers flying direct to Canada (+7%).

Vancouver (55%), Toronto (54%), and Niagara Falls (53%) continue to be the biggest draws for Australian travellers. Montréal (39%), Calgary (32%, up significantly from 24% in 2017), Québec City (31%), and Ottawa (28%) round out the most popular city destinations for Australian travellers.

“We know that Australians are interested in travelling outside of Western Canada.” says Donna Campbell, Managing Director, Destination Canada GSA. “Based on agency reported air ticket data, arrivals to Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada and northern Canada expanded at an above average rate between 2012 and 2018.”

The immediate market potential for Australian visitors to Canada is estimated at 2.47 million visitors who are interested in visiting Canada in the next two years, as compared with a total target market of 5.77 million.

“A whopping 43% of Australians who are interested in travelling to Canada are definitely or very likely to visit Canada in the next two years, with the summer and autumn seasons being the most desirable times of year to visit,” says Donna. “We see this as an opportunity to expand visitation by enticing Australians to visit during the shoulder seasons of spring and winter as well.”

The Global Tourism Watch research highlights the top activities Australian leisure travellers want to do while on holiday, including sampling local food and drink, immersing themselves in nature, seeing sites of historical significance and visiting city-based attractions.

“When Australian travellers were asked which activities are important enough to base an entire trip around, the response was natural attractions, northern lights, historical sites, local cuisine and nature parks,” says Donna.

“The fact that Canada provides these key adventures better than anywhere else on Earth makes it a priority destination for Australians looking for a holiday experience that will leave a lasting mark on their hearts.”

Fast facts

  • From January – June 2019, overnight arrivals from Australia increased by 3% to reach 156K, with more travellers flying direct to Canada (+7%).
  • 17% of Australian travellers are actively planning a trip, marginally up from 14% in 2017 but significantly up from 12% in 2016.
  • Canada welcomed 349,000 visitors from Australia in 2018.
  • Direct air arrivals in 2018 continued to grow (+6% over 2017), supported by expanded air capacity (+12%) resulting from new direct Air Canada flights between Melbourne and Vancouver.
  • 51% of Australians visiting Canada on their most recent long-haul leisure trip booked an organised group travel package, with over one-third (36%) of these being booked via a travel agent or tour operator in-person.
  • In 2018, Australian leisure travellers were most interested in visiting Canada during the summer (29% of travellers) and fall seasons (23%).

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