Canadians flock south in record numbers

The ‘Beyond the Border’ plan aims to simplify travel between the US and Canada (Image Canadian Govt)

The United States and Mexico welcomed a record number of Canadian travelers in 2011, receiving 21 million and 1.6 million overnight visits respectively.

US Department of Commerce data shows more than one third of the record 62 million foreign visits to the US last year originated north of the border, confirming Canada’s status as the biggest source market for American tourism ahead of Mexico (13.4 million visits) and Great Britain (3.8 million).

Taking advantage of the strong loonie last year, Canadian travelers also generated an unprecedented $24 billion in tourism spending in the US, up 15 per cent on the year before.       

And with a new trade agreement expediting the cross-border process between the two nations now in place, visitor numbers to the US from Canada are expected to rise even more.  

Further south, Canadians made more overnight trips to Mexico in 2011 than in any other year.

According to statistics provided by the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa, 1.5 million visits were made to Mexico by Canadians in 2011, reflecting an increase of seven per cent over 2010 and 29 per cent over 2009.

Picking up where last year left off, total travel from Canada in January grew by 6.7 per cent to 2.6 million trips, the Canadian Tourism Commission revealed.

The number of Canadians visiting the US during January increased by 8.7 per cent compared to the same month last year, while travel to overseas destinations grew by 4.1 per cent to 1.1 million trips.

The new data comes just weeks after a survey found that sentiment for Canadians among Americans was at an all time high.

Ninety-six per cent of respondents in the annual Gallup poll said they held ‘very favourable’ or ‘mostly favourable’ views of Canadians, the highest rating measured for any country since the question was first posed 25 years ago. 

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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