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WTO confirms positive results
4The World Tourism Organization's (WTO) Barometer reports that the tourism industry around the globe continues to recover from the challenges of years past.
The pace of this rebound is beginning to show signs of slowing, as global tourism activity continues to recover (7.7%), but at a slightly slower rate than experienced in 2004 (10.7%). These results were expected, as the effect of pent-up demand from 2003 diminishes.
Industry growth in Canada has slowed (from the Americas' 2004 average of 11%) with arrivals growing by 10.1% and receipts by 3%. There are comparatively few limitations on the continued growth of the industry as North American markets move into their busy summer seasons; however, exchange rates and volatile gas prices (and their subsequent effect on the affordability of auto and air travel) were noted as potentially limiting factors.
Europe and Asia were highlighted as key growth markets for Canada. Recent success in the effort to obtain an Approved Destination Status agreement with China hints towards an influx of visitors from that country.
Travel intentions and bookings to Canada from the US, although up from the slump in 2002 and 2003, continue to fall below expectations due in part to perceived and actual barriers at the international border.
Increasing fuel prices are expected to have a detrimental effect on visitation as the US holds a great number of potential "rubber-tire" tourists for Canada.
The decreased value of the US greenback has dulled a competitive advantage that Canada once held. More importantly, however, the stronger dollar has proven to be an important stimulus for outbound travel from Canada resulting in an 11% increase in receipts from Canadian visitors to the US.
Canada continues to drop in its ranking among the WTO's top tourism destinations (by international receipts), falling to 12th position with US$12.84 billion. (See below for the top ten). Canada's slide is not only the result of poor results in 2003 and a weak US market, but also the reflection of the exchange rate changes of local currencies against the US dollar.
Inbound trips to Canada
Canadian travel to overseas countries continued its record setting trend in May, reaching an all-time high for the third straight month, according to Statistics Canada. At the same time, however, travel to Canada fell to 3.1 million trips in May, its lowest level since August 2004. This decline can be attributed to reductions in all modes of travel from the U.S., however same-day automobile trips recorded the largest drop (-10.7%). Total overnight travel to Canada decreased 2.7% in May 2005 compared to the same month one year earlier. The year 2001 represented the highest May level for overnight trips to Canada (1.7 million trips). The 2005 level (1.5 million trips) is the second lowest level recorded for the month of May over the last decade. The lowest level was recorded in 2003 (1.3 million trips).
From the United States:
In May 2005, the total number of trips to Canada from the U.S. declined 8%, with overall automobile travel recording a 9.9% decrease The volume of overnight travel from the U.S. also decreased in May 2005 to 1.5 million trips (-5.1%), compared to May 2004. Overnight auto travel decreased 8.2%, while non-auto overnight travel volumes remained stagnant (0.3%).
Within the last ten years, the highest U.S. overnight travel volume to Canada for the first five months of the year occurred in 2002 (4.5 million trips) while 2003 represented the lowest travel volume (3.9 million trips).
Year-to-date travel for 2005 (4.1 million trips) is only slightly above the 2003 level.
From all other countries:
The total number of trips from overseas destinations increased 4.8% in May 2005 compared to May 2004, as more than 397,000 overseas residents visited Canada.
In addition, overnight trips from overseas visitors increased 5.1% compared to the same month one year ago, reaching almost 386,000 trips.
In May, all overseas regions except the U.S. posted increases when compared with the same month last year: South America (19.2%), Europe (6.2%), Asia-Pacific (3.2%) and North America other than the U.S. (3.0%), with Mexico individually posting a 12.6% increase. For overseas travel to Canada, the year-to-date total for 2005 (1.26 million trips) represents the third highest level in the past ten years.
Latest lodging report (week ending July 30th) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).
|Newfoundland & Labrador||$102.79|
|Prince Edward Island||$103.93|
*RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
Tourism income worldwide
WTO statistics organization barometer data indicate tourism income worldwide saw a 10.3% increase of $622 billion in 2004 compared to 2003. The rankings released by WTO headquarters in Madrid said the US ranked the first with $74.500 million. France ranked the first in the list of countries attracting the highest number of tourists, Spain ranked the second, and US ranked the third. Following is the list of tourism incomes according to the WTO Barometer: Country - Income (billion US dollars)
Top 10 U.S. & Canada cities
According to Travel & Leisure magazine readers these are the top 10 cities to visit in the U.S. and Canada:
Top islands in continental U.S. and Canada:
Anti-missile systems start tests next month
The U.S. government will begin testing anti-missile equipment on three airliners next month, a first step toward what could be the most expensive security upgrade ever ordered for the nation's aviation system. Both Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems will rig out-of-service planes with laser defense systems designed to misdirect shoulder-fired missiles, said John Kubricky, director of the Department of Homeland Security's systems engineering and development office.
Space tourism - The next frontier
Richard Branson has revealed plans to build 5 spaceships which could be ready to take tourists into space within just 3 years. Branson has set up The Spaceship Company and entered into agreement with aeronautical designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who backed Rutan's first privately-financed SpaceShipOne rocket.
The sub-orbital flights will cost an estimated US$200,000.00 and last for approximately 2 hours, reaching heights of 62 miles. Weightlessness will occur for 5 minutes of the flight and the return journey will include re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Branson's Virgin Galactic will spend around US$21.5m for use of the technology and a further US$100m, to build the five spacecraft - called SpaceShipTwo (SS2) - which will be capable of carrying up to 7 passengers.
Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada (www.holidayhomes.ca) & For Rent By Owner in Canada (www.FRBO.ca) web sites for the month of July 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 127,474 hits (4,112 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,859 (318 per day)
Visitors came from 70+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.
Never under-estimate the importance of this vital aspect of property rentals. Garbage cans that haven't been emptied, candy wrappers lurking in a far corner under the kids' bunk beds and greasy stoves all add up to an odious start to anyone's vacation. It's essential to have good, reliable cleaners. Click here for complete article
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