Canadian Travel Spending falls for third consecutive quarter

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Canada Tourism News – Total spending on tourism in Canada declined by 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009, constituting the third consecutive quarterly fall of this industry, government agency Statistics reported Monday.

Tourism spending measures the cumulative expenditures by both travelers from abroad and Canadians. Three consecutive quarterly drops last occurred in Canada in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, when the tourism industry experienced a major decline.

Tourism spending has declined a cumulative 2.4 percent so far in the current downturn, the report said.

niagara-falls-canada-tourismSpending by visitors from abroad fell by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the sharpest decline since just after the SARS outbreak in the second quarter of 2003.

These travelers spent less on all tourism commodities, Statistics Canada reported.

Among this group, consumption of vehicle fuel was down 10.3 percent, and spending on food and beverages fell 8.0 percent.

These drops could be driven in part by declining numbers of U.S. visitors.

Meanwhile, tourism spending by Canadians fell slightly by 0.1 percent in the quarter. Canadians flew less, as spending on air transportation fell 2.3 percent.

“Overnight travel within Canada was up, on the other hand, as indicated by higher spending on accommodation,” Statistics Canada said in a release. “Gains were also registered in spending on vehicle rentals and gasoline, food and beverages and recreation and entertainment.”

The numbers come a day after a poll suggesting the majority of Canadians planning summer vacations intended on staying close to home.

The Canadian Press and Harris-Decima poll found that among the 59 percent with holiday plans, 26 percent intend to vacation near the town or city where they already live, while 35 percent said they planned to stay within their home province. Only 18 percent plan to travel outside Canada.

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