Travel Profile (total)

  Yr/Yr % Chg
Visitor Spending (2016p) $2.04 billion -
California Market Share (2015) 7.6% -
Visitors to California (2016p) 1.5 million -
2017 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2016p) 1.6 million +1.1%
2021 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2016p)  1.7 million +10.6%
2021 Spending Forecast $2.3 billion -

(updated May 2017)
U.S. Department of Commerce; Tourism Economics 

Leisure Travel Profile - Air (67% of total)

Vacation/Holiday 50.9%  
Visits Friends/Relatives 16.5%  
Hotel/Motel 30.5%  
Average Length of Stay - Nights 5  
Average Spend Per Trip $1,317  
Average Destinations Visited 3.5  
Average Party Size 1.9  
Travel With Children 18%  

Sources: Statistics Canada, Tourism Economics



Market Conditions

Canada GDP Quarterly Growth Rate
Canadian Dollar

The fragile and uncertain global economic environment has weighted on Canada’s economy. Since 2013, growth in Canada has slowed to below 2 percent on average, and the sharp decline in global crude oil prices since the end of 2014 has placed more significant downward pressure on the economy.

Looking ahead, however, the Canadian economy is wellpositioned to begin recovering from the global oil price shock, gain traction and post more solid GDP growth and job creation.

As the economy gradually adjusts to weaker commodity prices, a lower Canadian dollar and ongoing growth in the U.S. economy are offering some support. Canadian exports have shown signs of improvement – particularly forestry products, motor vehicles and consumer goods.

Private economies have revised down their near-term outlook for real GDP growth and GDP inflation, and now expect real GDP growth of 1.4 percent in 2016 and 2.2 percent in 2017. The average growth between 2016 and 2020 is expected to be around 2 percent.

  Check current exchange rates on

  • The Canadian dollar continues to struggle due to the collapse in crude oil prices
  • In 2017, the Canadian dollar could decline to as low as 70 cents U.S., in part due to the President-elect’s economic agenda
Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; Government of Canada



Competitive Landscape



Top 2015 Spenders

  • The United States remains the top international destination for Canada by a large margin. Mexico, United Kingdom and France round out the next top three most popular and visited international destinations. Following a couple of years of decline, leisure trips to the United States are forecast to return to a more normal growth scenario in 2017.
  • Canada is preparing for its sesquicentennial (150th) birthday celebration in 2017 which will encourage Canadians to travel closer to home. Numerous new products and entertainment are being developed such as free admission to all National Parks for all of 2017.
  • Higher annual proportions of overseas travel from Canadians are expected to continue in the short-term.
  • All-inclusive sun destinations continue to be popular given the exchange rate, especially during the winter season.

New York, Las Vegas, France
Entertainment: New York, Las Vegas, London
Family: Florida, Mexico, Canada
Outdoor: Canada, Hawaii, Florida
Luxury: Hawaii, New York, London

  Ontario: $3.32M
Newfoundland: $2.77M
Michigan: $2.15M
Manitoba: $1.72M
Nova Scotia: $1.59M
    Source: Nielsen



Market Barriers


Risk Factors

  • There is some uncertainty in Canada based on the new President Trump administration and continued lower exchange rates which is causing continued caution in spending and travel to the United States.
  • The staycation trend in Canada continued to grow in 2016 with tourism spend by Canadians travelling in Canada growing in part due to the weaker loonie and lower gas prices.
  • Canadians familiar with California have created a pattern for repeat visitation and the challenge is to create awareness beyond the gateways to draw new and return visitors and disperse travel.

Overall, Canada has low economic risk and political stability.

Source: Statistics Canada, The Conference Board of Canada    






  • Planning timeframe: 1-4 months; shorter in Western Canada vs. Eastern.
  • However, the booking window is starting to shorten due to safety and waiting for last-minute deals.
  • 52 percent of Canadians travelers research mutiple destinations when they begin their booking journey.
  • Over 60 tour operators package California in the Canadian market.
  • Canada average number of days of search to book is 35 and the average number of days of book to stay is 63.2.
  • 410 weekly nonstop flights
  • 56,571 weekly seats



Target Profile

Primary Target
  • Top 33% HHI
  • Passionate about or regularly travel abroad
  • Travel by air for vacation 1+ times annually
  • Vacation decision-making involvement
  • 46 — Median age
  • $124K — Median HHI
  • More like to be married (60 percent / 131) and have children (59 percent / Index 109)
Source: Carat CCS    




Other Market Insights

  • Market:
    • California continues to be a top desired destination for Canadians
      • In 2015, California accounted for 7.8 percent of all Canadian visitors to the United States, an increase from 7.1 percent in 2014
    • Increases in air capacity and moderately strong economies benefit California
      • California tourism is expected to benefit from increases in direct air capacity as well as moderately strong economies in British Columbia and Ontario over the next five years
      • The majority of Canadians visiting California are coming from British Columbia (35.3 percent) and Ontario (24.5 percent)
    • Canadian travelers desire more personalized and authentic experiences that offer self fulfillment
      • Canadians look to experiences to find enjoyment, self-fulfillment, and reward, with a staggering 93 percent of Canadians preferring a life filled with great experiences over beautiful possessions
  • Product Experience:
    • Sightseeing, shopping, beach, nature and culture are trip motivators
      • In terms of vacation activities, Canadians tend to book trips that include sightseeing (64 percent), shopping (49 percent) and relaxing on the beach (45 percent), and also seek out nature and culture
    • Canada is the sixth-largest market for top spenders in the luxury segment driven by the 45-55+ demographic

Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; media/corps;



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