Travelweek Group Domestic travel expected to increase in light of 150th birthday celebrations Wednesday, November 23, 2016 Tags: Canada, Trend Watch Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> OTTAWA — Despite a stubbornly sluggish economy, travel to and within Canada has actually grown this year, thanks in large part to low gas prices and a weak Canadian dollar.According to The Conference Board of Canada’s latest Travel Markets Outlook for both national and metropolitan cities, overnight visits are on track to grow by 3% in 2016 and 2017. On top of the nearly 10% growth last year, overnight visits from the U.S. are expected to increase a further 7.8% this year, as many American travellers are choosing Canada – known as a safe travel destination – over competing destinations struggling with safety concerns.Similarly, overseas arrivals to Canada saw an increase of 8.7% this year, but are expected to cool slightly in 2017 to an estimated 6.4%.“The tourism sector is one of the handful benefiting from the low Canadian dollar. We’re seeing increased levels of both U.S. and international visitors that are nothing short of tremendous and restore much of the travel volume lost during the past decade,” said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for the Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute.Next year’s domestic tourism numbers will receive a boost from several factors, including growing consumer confidence, increases in disposable income as well as major events, like the 150th anniversary of Confederation and Montreal’s 375th anniversary. Domestic pleasure travel is estimated to increase by 3.2% in 2017.Travel prices are forecasted to continue ramping up slowly with increases ranging between 2.1 and 2.3% between 2017 and 2020. While travellers were hit with a 3.7% increase for accommodations in 2016, a more moderate annual increase at a pace between 2 and 3% is expected across the forecast horizon. Travellers can also expect to spend between 2.1 and 2.4% more for food and beverage services.More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsOf the nine Canadian cities covered in the ‘Travel Markets Outlook’s Metropolitan Focus’, most can count on tourism growth between 2-5% next year.Domestic overnight visits to Halifax are projected to increase by 2.8% before the end of the year, while overall visits should grow by 3.8%.HALIFAXDomestic overnight visits to the city are projected to increase by 2.8% before the end of the year, while overall visits should grow by 3.%. The King’s Wharf waterfront project is scheduled for completion in spring 2017 and should attract both business and pleasure travel to Halifax, with overnight visits set to grow 3.1% in 2017.MONTREALThe renewal of hotel space and major sports events have contributed to a strong year for pleasure travel in Montreal. The city will experience a 4.3% increase in overnight visits in 2016. As Montréal celebrates its 375th anniversary in 2017, a further increase of 5% is projected for overnight visits.QUEBEC CITYOvernight visits to Quebec City are expected to grow by 3.7% in 2016, with pleasure travel receiving a boost from the recently completed Videotron Centre, a multi-use indoor arena. Visits from the U.S. to the city are expected to grow by 8.9% this year amidst low gas prices and a favourable exchange rate.OTTAWA-GATINEAUWith sporting events such as the Canadian men’s curling championship and strong gains from international markets, overall visits to the city are estimated to increase by 3.4% in 2016. Celebration for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 will see overnight visits to the nation’s capital grow considerably. Other major events, such as the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup and the 105th Grey Cup will also lend a hand in the projected 6.4% increase in domestic pleasure travel next year.More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthTORONTOStrong convention activity will lead to growth in business travel to Canada’s largest city this year. In 2017, pleasure travel is projected to increase by 3.%, boosted by Toronto hosting Prince Harry and his Invictus Games and the NHL Centennial Classic Game.WINNIPEGBusiness travel is set to grow 3.6% in 2016, receiving a boost from the recently completed RBC convention centre. In 2017, a 3.3% increase for overall overnight visits is expected as the city hosts the Canada Games and opens a new outlet mall.CALGARYAttendance at the Calgary Stampede was at a 22-year low in 2016. The outlook is much brighter for 2017 with pleasure travel expected to see a boost as a result of the recently opened National Music Centre and the Calgary Film Centre. Overnight visits to the city should expand by 2.5% in the new year.EDMONTONWith the continuing weakness of the energy sector, local tourism activity suffered this year. While overnight visits to the city are projected to decline 1.7% in 2016, strong growth from the U.S. and overseas markets should help contribute to an increase of 2% in overall overnight visits next year.VANCOUVERVancouver will see a 6% increase in tourism activity in 2016. Next year, the city will benefit from hosting a number of large sporting events, such as the NCAA basketball tournament and the Canada Sevens rugby tournament. Overall, overnight visits are projected to increase 4.1% in 2017.