Overview of the tourism industry in Canada

by admin on September 11, 2013

Infographic Source: www.collectivepos.com

Infographic Source: www.collectivepos.com


The Canadian tourism industry is booming. Visitors have heard about all the country has to offer and they’re flocking to popular tourist destinations to take in the sites with their own eyes. Tourism in Canada has grown into a $31.3 billion dollar industry, composing more than 1.9% of the nation’s total economy. This has resulted in a thriving tourism industry, providing many Canadians with the opportunity to serve as hosts to the country, performing jobs that make them love to go to work each day.

In fact, more than 603,400 people, in 157,362 different tourism positions work hard to make visitors feel at home. Some of the most popular jobs in the tourism industry include positions in guest services, housekeeping, food and beverage service, entertainment, transportation, health and fitness, maintenance, and more. They’re employed by hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas, tourist attractions, and historic sites, to name a few.

During the summer months, more than 41% of tourists arrive in the country, making this a busy time for professionals working in this industry.

Popular Tourist Destinations

More than 15.6 million international tourists visit Canada each year, spending $11.9 billion. The top five countries visitors come from include the U.S. —11.5 million, United Kingdom — 623,000, France — 422,000, Germany — 290,000, & Australia — 216,000.

It’s really no wonder that travelers flock to the country, as there is something for everyone. Canada is home to countless natural wonders and historic sites for tourists to visit, making for a unique vacation. A 2012 Toronto Sun article revealed the 13 most popular tourist destinations in Canada, including:

  1. Niagara Falls (Ontario)
  2. Banff National Park (Alberta)
  3. The Rocky Mountains (British Columbia)
  4. Historic Old Quebec City (Quebec)
  5. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse (Nova Scotia)
  6. Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick)
  7. St. John’s Signal Hill (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  8. Polar bear watching in Churchill (Manitoba)
  9. The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis (Northwest Territories)
  10. Green Gables Heritage Site or the Anne of Green Gables home (Prince Edward Island)
  11. Baffin Island (Nunavut)
  12. Klondike National Historic Site (Yukon)
  13. Athabasca Sand Dunes (Saskatchewan)

Major Cities

While it’s undeniable that Canada boasts some of the world’s most beautiful natural sites, the country also has many major cities offering travelers the chance to embark on an urban adventure. Big cities offer visitors a little bit of everything, so they can immerse themselves in modern Canadian culture. Popular activities include visits to museums, stunning historic landmarks, art galleries, parks, shopping areas, restaurants and pubs, theaters, and more.

According to MoneySense, the 10 largest cities in Canada are:

  1. Calgary (Alberta)
  2. Ottawa (Ontario)
  3. Edmonton (Alberta)
  4. London (Ontario)
  5. Winnipeg (Manitoba)
  6. Halifax (Nova Scotia)
  7. Toronto (Ontario)
  8. Mississauga (Ontario)
  9. Quebec City (Quebec)
  10. Vancouver (British Columbia)

Excluding U.S. visitors, most travelers (40%) visit Canada for pleasure or to spend time with friends and family living in the country (33%). However, many visitors (15%) come to the country on business or for other purposes (12%).

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