While the number of people travelling continues to increase year over year, the pace of recovery in Canada in August slowed from July as airports grappled with operational challenges, reports Statistics Canada.
But the numbers, overall, are still positive.
Sharing its latest data on Oct. 24, the agency said Canadians returned from more than 3.7 million trips abroad in August 2022, which is more than four times the number of trips taken in August 2021, the agency says.
That figure represented 63.4% of the level in August 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breaking down that figure, Canadians returned from nearly three million trips to the United States last August, which is almost six times the number recorded reported in 2021.
Of this total, 2.2 million residents travelled by automobile, with over half (51.1%) being same-day trips.
The number of Canadian residents returning by air from the U.S. was 685,000 in August, up from 170,000 in August 2021.
On a monthly basis, about 400,000 more Canadians returned from the United States in August compared with July.
As for the overseas market, 752,900 Canadians returned from visiting overseas in August, more than doubling from the same month in 2021 (341,700).
On a monthly basis from July, 32,000 more Canadians returned from visiting overseas in August, says Statistics Canada.
While this represents over two-thirds (67.3%) of the number from pre-pandemic August 2019, it was still down from the 82.9% recovery reached in July, Stats Can reports.
“International travel has steadily increased since August 2021, with the exception of a temporary pause in January 2022 due to the Omicron variant and renewed COVID-19 restrictions,” the agency said. “In fact, the pace of recovery in international travel is now more subject to capacity constraints than to public health restrictions.”
Inbound on the upswing
Inbound numbers are also seeing an uptick.
Residents from overseas countries made six times more trips to Canada in August compared with the same month in 2021, which is over half (51.6%) of the trips taken in August 2019.
Likewise, U.S. residents took nearly 2.0 million trips to Canada in August 2022.
This was almost four times the number of trips taken in August 2021 and represented over half (55.4%) of the trips in August 2019.
However, the recovery of overseas visitors slowed in August. In August, 546,600 overseas residents arrived in Canada, up from the 91,300 such arrivals in August 2021.
While this is more than half (51.6%) of the overseas residents who arrived in Canada in August 2019, before the pandemic, it is lower than the 56.6% recovery posted in July 2022, the agency says.
The 344,900 arrivals from Europe (up from 42,500 in August 2021) remained the largest segment of overseas residents arriving in Canada in August.
The 81,500 arrivals from the Americas (excluding U.S. residents) slightly outnumbered the 81,000 arrivals from Asia, which is "typically a much larger segment."