Business

Trips to Canada rise 11% in year to January as loonie drops

Travel to Canada continues to pick up, rising 11 per cent in the year to January, while Canadians are reducing the number of trips to the U.S. and other destinations, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadians are making fewer trips to the U.S. and to other destinations as dollar buys less

The number of foreign tourists to Canada is up 11 per cent in the year to January, according to Statistics Canada. (CBC)

Travel to Canada continues to pick up, while Canadians are reducing the number of trips to the U.S. and other destinations, according to Statistics Canada.

The number of foreign tourists coming to Canada has increased 11 per cent in the 12 months to January 2016, with 2.4 million travelers arriving in Canada in the month, Statistics Canada said.

The number of arrivals rose by 1.6 per cent in the month alone, with U.S. visitors making 1.9 million trips to Canada, up 1.1 per cent.

The low Canadian dollar has been a boon for Canada's tourism industry, falling 10 per cent in the year to January and almost 20 per cent in the previous two years.

For foreign tourists, that means increased spending power in Canadian resorts, tourist destinations and restaurants.

Tourism is presenting a growth opportunity for Canadian business as the oil price swoon diminishes investment in other sectors of the economy.

The greatest number of visitors was from the U.S., followed by the U.K., China and France.

At the same time, the low loonie is making it more expensive for Canadians to travel.

Canadians still made 4.4 million trips abroad in January, 11 per cent fewer than in January 2015, by 1.4 per cent more than in December 2015.

The number of same-day car trips by Canadians to the U.S. picked up during the month, rising 3.7 per cent to 1.8 million. That's still 15 per cent fewer than they made a year ago in January.

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