Tourism in Canada Increases with 68 Countries Eligible for Visa Waiver Program – Check Now if Your Country is Eligible

Monday June 17, 2024

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Tourism in Canada reaches new heights with 68 countries now eligible for visa-free access, boosting travel and economic gains.

The Canadian travel and tourism sector is on an unprecedented growth trajectory, supported by synergistic improvement in multiple areas, including visa waiver policies, economic strategies, aviation advancements and business planning. targeted events. In 2023, the influx of 74.5 million international visitors – facilitated by simplified entry processes for people from 68 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and the Schengen area – illustrates a Strategic exploitation of visa waiver policies to increase tourist numbers. This approach not only simplifies travel, but significantly increases Canada’s appeal as a globally accessible destination. Combined with the strong economic contributions projected by the World Travel and Tourism Council, these elements collectively catalyze the dynamism of the Canadian tourism landscape.

Tourism growth and policy impact

Canada is experiencing a remarkable tourism boom, largely attributed to its visa-free policy which has made it an attractive destination for travelers from 68 countries, including key regions such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the Schengen countries. In 2023, the influx of international visitors reached 74.5 million, almost 1.5 times more than the previous year, reflecting a significant increase in tourism. This increase in visitors has also led to substantial economic benefits, with tourism-related spending totaling approximately $91.7 billion for the year. These expenses include expenses related to transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, and other tourism-related services.

Strategic initiatives and investments

In response to the growing number of tourists, Destination Canada launched its 2024-2025 Tourism Corridor Strategy program. This program solicits proposals to improve tourism corridors or clusters of attractions across the country, with the goal of diversifying and enriching Canada’s tourism landscape with an emphasis on community-driven growth. Additionally, the government is investing $3.6 million in new interpretive offerings and interactive exhibits at Red Bay National Historic Site in Labrador, as part of broader $557 million in funding announced in the end of 2022. This investment will improve the visitor experience at this UNESCO World Heritage site starting in June 2025, strengthening Canada’s appeal as a leading tourism destination.

Air transportation and infrastructure improvements

Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest and busiest airport, has seen a significant increase in passenger activity. In 2023, the airport’s traffic jumped by 9.2 million or 25.8 percent, to a total of 44.8 million passengers, compared to 35.6 million in 2022. This increase reflects the overall growth of air transport sector in Canada. Additionally, Air Canada, which uses Toronto Pearson as its primary hub, has placed a firm order with Boeing for 18 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, with deliveries expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2025. The move is part of the part of a broader initiative to replace older, less efficient wide-body aircraft in the fleet. Additionally, Air Canada has signed an agreement with Airbus for a significant package of cockpit and avionics system upgrades to their in-service A320 family aircraft, ensuring the fleet remains at the forefront of aeronautical technology and efficiency.

Economic forecasts and contribution

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is forecasting an unprecedented year for Canada’s travel and tourism sector, with its economic contribution expected to reach a record level of nearly $182 billion. These forecasts highlight the immense economic impact and importance of the tourism industry in Canada, setting the stage for a record year.

Tourism spending and sector growth

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) also reported: In terms of spending, international and domestic tourists are expected to contribute significantly, with total spending projected at $43.7 billion and $95.2 billion respectively. These figures represent unprecedented levels of spending and highlight the strong demand that is driving dynamic growth in the sector. Substantial investment by tourists is a clear indicator of the health of the sector and its central role in the national economy.

Major upcoming events in Canada:

  • June 19, 2024: Tourism London Annual General Meeting will take place at Boler Mountain, located at 689 Griffith St in London, ON, Canada. The meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • June 23, 2024: Experience a captivating live performance from Courtney Marie Andrews alongside Jason Isbell on the OLG Stage at the Fallsview Casino, located at 6366 Stanley Ave in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • July 13, 2024: Join rolling stones for a concert at SoFi Stadium, located at 1001 Stadium Dr in Inglewood, California, United States. The show runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • August 11, 2024: Lake George Music Festival is scheduled to take place at The Carriage House, 48 Canada St in Lake George, NY, United States. The festival runs from August 11 to 22.
  • September 12, 2024: ACTA Eastern Canada Travel Industry Summit 2024 will meet on a Thursday at the Toronto Convention Centre, 650 Dixon Rd in Etobicoke, ON, Canada.
  • October 21, 2024: Travel Alberta Industry Conference is scheduled for Monday, October 21 through Wednesday, October 23 at the Fairmont Banff Springs, located at 405 Spray Ave in Banff, AB, Canada.
  • October 22, 2024: Ontario Tourism Summit is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22 through Thursday, October 24 at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, 116 King St W in Hamilton, ON, Canada.
  • November 2, 2024: THE DESTINATIONS EXPO will take place from Saturday, November 2 to Sunday, November 3 at the Mississauga Convention Centre, 75 Derry Rd W in Mississauga, ON, Canada.
  • November 22, 2024: The World Conference on Hospitality and Tourism is scheduled for Friday, November 22 to Sunday, November 24 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • December 3, 2024: TIAC Tourism Conference will take place from Tuesday, December 3 to Thursday, December 5 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, 1000 Burrard St in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

List of countries whose citizens can visit Canada without a visa:

Israel, British Overseas Citizen (re-admissible to the UK), San Marino, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland, Iceland, France, Andorra, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Malta, Portugal, Greece, New Zealand, Hungary, United States of America, United Kingdom, Saint Helena, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (must have a passport issued by the Hong Kong SAR), Liechtenstein, Germany , Samoa, Poland, Italy, Vatican City State, Finland, Turkey and Caicos Islands, Czech Republic, Estonia, Romania (e-passport holders only), Pitcairn Island, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Japan, subject British citizen with right of abode in the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Spain, Latvia, Ireland, Croatia, Monaco, Papua New Guinea, British national (overseas), Netherlands, citizen of the British territory of overseas having citizenship by birth, ancestry, naturalization or registration in one of the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Belgium, Cayman Islands , Barbados, Chile, Australia, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Sweden, Montserrat, Vatican City, Samoa, Taiwan (must have a regular passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan which includes personal identification number), Monaco , Norway and British citizen.

The revitalization of Canada’s tourism sector is dynamically propelled by a comprehensive set of strategic improvements across various industries. The visa waiver policy has proven instrumental in attracting a wide range of international visitors, directly contributing to the dynamic economic expansion of the tourism sector. Additionally, significant investments in air transportation infrastructure, such as the expansion of Toronto Pearson International Airport and the modernization of Air Canada’s fleet, ensure world-class service and connectivity. At the same time, initiatives such as the Strategic Tourism Corridor Program enrich the tourist experience by creating integrated networks of attractions, thereby further diversifying Canada’s tourism offering. These concerted efforts in economics, policy, aviation and event planning not only enhance the visitor experience, but also set the stage for sustainable growth of the Canadian travel industry and tourism, positioning it as a leading destination on the global stage.

Here is a list of the top 10 tourist destinations in Canada, along with a brief description of each:

  1. Niagara Falls, Ontario
    The iconic Niagara Falls offers breathtaking views and is a great choice both for its natural beauty and the exciting boat rides near the waterfalls.
  2. Banff National Park, Alberta
    Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park is famous for its stunning mountain terrain, pristine lakes and abundant wildlife.
  3. Vancouver, British Columbia
    Vancouver is known for its vibrant arts scene, beautiful urban parks like Stanley Park, and diverse culinary landscape influenced by its multicultural population.
  4. Quebec City, Quebec
    This historic city is known for its European charm, cobblestone streets and the grand Fairmont Le Château Frontenac which dominates the city skyline.
  5. Toronto, Ontario
    Canada’s largest city offers a vibrant mix of tourist attractions, from the iconic CN Tower to bustling markets and cultural festivals.
  6. Whistler, British Columbia
    A world-class ski resort in winter and a popular hiking and mountain biking destination in summer, Whistler attracts outdoor enthusiasts year-round.
  7. Montreal, Quebec
    Known for its vibrant arts and music scene, Montreal is also home to historic sites, museums and a vibrant nightlife.
  8. Prince Edward Island
    Famous for its red sand beaches, lighthouses and for being the setting of Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island offers a gentle and picturesque escape.
  9. Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada’s capital is rich in culture and history, with institutions such as the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum.
  10. Jasper National Park, Alberta
    This park is a less populated alternative to Banff, offering equally stunning scenery and the chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.

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