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Monday,  February 26, 2024 3:50 AM 

Tourism comeback: Canadian visits to Britain up 3% from 2019

Tourism comeback: Canadian visits to Britain up 3% from 2019
Pax Global Media

Britain continues to be a top travel destination for Canadians as 2022 was an "outstanding year" for visits from Canada to the United Kingdom, exceeding 2019 visits and spend levels, according to the latest official statistics from Britain’s national tourism agency VisitBritain.

Visits from Canada to the UK in 2022 are up three per cent on 2019, with 897,000 arrivals, spending a record-breaking total of $1.57 billion CAD, which is 27 per cent up on 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average length of stay for inbound Canadian travellers grew by two nights in 2022, to 11 nights, three nights higher than the global average of eight nights.

Britain and Canada share strong ancestral ties, and visiting friends and relatives lead in terms of volume of visits from the Canadian market. 

VFR overtook holiday visits to become the most popular trip purpose for UK, representing 47 per cent of trips, holidays sat in second place with 37 per cent. 

Inbound performance was bolstered by a strong growth vs 2019 from the VFR market, reaching a record for visits (+22 per cent), spend (+64 per cent) and total nights in the UK (+43 per cent). 

Holiday trips have reached 90 per cent of 2019 volumes, while business trips are further behind at 80% of pre-pandemic volumes.

Spend per visit increased by almost a quarter, from$1,411 CAD per trip in 2019 to $1,750 CAD in 2022 and this growth was recorded across all trip purposes.

The Canadian market saw an impressive movement up the rankings scoreboard in 2022, ascending five ranks in both volume and value to sit within the top 10 key source markets. 

Canada currently represents the ninth largest and seventh largest most valuable market to the UK.

"We are thrilled to see this strong post-pandemic recovery from the Canadian market demonstrating that Britain remains a favourite destination for Canadians. With its connections of family and friends, Canadians love to explore the arts & culture, food & drink and heritage of the UK," said VisitBritain’s Executive Vice President, The Americas, Australia & New Zealand Paul Gauger. 

"With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games plus our ‘Come See Britain Differently’ campaign, these have further encouraged Canadians to follow their passions and explore beyond Britain’s famous landmarks to experience a more unexpected side of Britain."

Globally, in 2022, the UK welcomed 31.2 million visits following two years of low visits due to the impact of COVID-19. Visits in each quarter of 2022 increasingly neared pre-pandemic levels and overall visits were 24% below 2019 levels.

Visitors spent $4.3 billion CAD during the 12 months of 2022, down seven per cent on 2019 (in nominal terms) and down 17 per cent in real terms when taking inflation into account, with Q4 2022 reaching a record $12.9 billion CAD. 

In total, 262.9 million nights were spent in the UK by inbound visitors, down nine per cent on 2019.

VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2023 projects that this year Britain will welcome 35.1 million inbound visitors spending £29.5 billion. This forecast will be updated to reflect the final official 2022 figures.

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