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International travel figures cause for optimism
After declines experienced at the beginning of the year, overnight international travel to Canada continued to rebound in June, recording its fourth straight monthly increase. Moreover, for the first time since October 2002, the rate of growth of Canadian outbound travel was lower than that of inbound travel.
Results published by Statistics Canada indicate that the total international overnight travel to Canada increased 12.8% compared to June 2003. Although these figures offer encouragement that the worst of the recent past poor performance is over, these levels are still 5.8% below the number of international arrivals experienced for the same month in 2002.
In June 2004, close to 1.8 million travellers from the U.S. visited Canada, an 8.2% increase when compared to the same month last year. The continued upward trend in June was noted in both non-auto travel (10.3%), and auto travel (6.9%). U.S. travel for the January to June period increased by 6.5% over 2003, but still 8.2% below 2002 levels.
Arrivals from overseas destinations increased by 34.0% compared to June 2003. All overseas regions posted increases when compared with the same month last year: Asia-Pacific (69.5%), South America (27.2%), Europe (21.8%) and North America other than the U.S. (164%). Year-to-date overnight overseas volume was up 20.3% over 2003, reaching more than 1.6 million trips. This is the third highest travel volume from overseas in the last five years.
Domestic stats show small increase
According to Statistics Canada's latest release on domestic travel Canadians travelling within Canada increased 1.7% to 35.2 million trips in the first quarter of 2004 compared with the first quarter of 2003. However, despite this overall increase the number of domestic trips taken in the first quarter was 5.4% less than the 7-year high of 37.2 million trips recorded in the first quarter of 2002.
Overall, domestic trips accounted for 84% of the 41.8 million trips taken in Canada in the first quarter of 2004, compared with 83% for the same quarter a year earlier.
The 1.7% gain in domestic travel during the first quarter of 2004 was a result of increases in pleasure trips (+5.7%) and trips made to visit friends or relatives (+4.7%). Together these two categories represented 71% of all domestic trips reported in the first quarter of 2004. Meanwhile, business and convention travel declined 10.1% to 4.8 million trips compared with the first quarter of 2003.
Latest lodging report (week ending August 28) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).
|Province||RevPAR*||Chg from 2003|
*RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
Forecast for 2005
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has released a synopsis of a number of different forecasts for Canada in 2005. Overall, HAC's president Tony Pollard says the outlook for 2005 is "a slow, tentative recovery.'' He notes: "We have witnessed several months of positive economic growth and up to 3.5% is predicted for next year. Inflation, interest rates and unemployment remain low, but oil, geopolitics and global economics impact us all."
Says Pollard: "We are a long way from the heady days of the late 1990s and 2000, but with RevPAR growth of 3% predicted for 2005, we are moving in the right direction."
Planning a trip to Quebec?
Check out Quebec Vacation Properties
U.S. lodging survey
The American Hotel & Lodging Association has recently released its 2004 Lodging Survey. Among the findings, the survey revealed the following:
New 'gateway' site drives traffic
A new "gateway" sister site - For Rent By Owner in Canada (www.FRBO.ca), will serve to drive more visitor traffic to the main holiday homes.canada web site.
The use of content-rich 'gateway' sites are a recognized method of improving traffic from the major search engines. Property owners who presently list with holidayhomes.ca will automatically benefit from the increased flow of traffic through FRBO.ca - listing in one is the same as listing in both.
Travel websites "take 5% of all online visits"
Visits to travel-related websites represented 5% of all online visits - one in 20 - in July, compared with one in 25 in January. The statistics compiled by European based Hitwise demonstrate continued strong growth in traffic to travel sites. Hitwise data further reveals that average session duration on a travel website has also increased in the last 2 months, up from 5 minutes and 50 seconds in June to 6 minutes and 7 seconds in August.
Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada web site for the month of August 2004:
Total 'hits' for the month = 121,053 hits (3,904 per day) Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,097 (293 per day) Visitors came from 76 countries. For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.
Speed up your web site
No one likes pages that take a long time to load. Your website visitor makes decisions in seconds and it won't take him long to press the back button or type another address to access other related websites. So make sure that your site loads fast. The possible reasons for long loading times are:
Every web designer has been guilty of creating bloated pages. Each component by itself may not make that much of a difference. But think about what happens when you combine two or more on a single page!
The home page sets the tone for the rest of the site so be sure it has a fast and reliable download. More advice?
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