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Canadian tourism declines despite world travel boom

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November 16, 2013

Canadian tourism declines despite world travel boom

A tourist takes photos from the top deck of the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls, Ont., one of Canada's most popular tourist sites. Travel overal to Canada overall, however, is in decline, according to a new report. (Charles Lewis/Associated Press)Tourism is one of the world?s fastest-growing businesses, yet the number of international travellers to Canada has declined 20 per cent since 2000, according to a report from Deloitte & Touche.

Canada?s tourism industry is struggling to compete as the global travel business undergoes unprecedented change, according to the “Passport to Growth” report.

While Canadian destinations such as the Rockies and Niagara Falls?have not lost their allure, the tourism sector has?gone unrecognized by both government and business in its potential to drive growth, says the report, compiled by Deloitte partners Ryan Brain, Tom Peter and Lorrie King, based on Statistics Canada numbers.

Although tourism employed 600,000 Canadians and represents about two per cent of national GDP,? the industry is falling behind in attracting the globe?s emerging travellers.

Small share of global travel

Canada had 16 million international visitors in 2012, with the largest number ?from the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Australia, according to the Canadian Tourism Association. A steep slide in U.S. visitors, in part because of the high Canadian dollar, has meant lower figures.

Canada sees only a small share of global international travel arrivals, which passed the one billion mark in 2012, having risen four per cent a year over?the past?10 years.

Canada was one of the most popular international tourist destinations in 1970, second only to Italy.?Now it?s No. 18, and behind countries like Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

Among those travelling more are young people, who explore the world before settling into education and a career, and tourists over age 60, who have greater disposable income and more time to travel.

There has also been a 13 per cent a year jump in international departures from emerging economies such as China, Korea, ?Brazil and Mexico. Emerging economies are seeing the rise of middle-class people with enough income to travel.

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Source CBC News,

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