International visitors on the rise: StatCan

Since Canada opened up its borders to fully vaccinated individuals earlier this fall, there has been a spike in the number of international travellers arriving to the country — though still below pre-pandemic numbers.

Statistics Canada released new data Friday revealing that during October 2021, there were 14 times more international visitors than in the same month the year before.

Over 263,000 non-residents arrived from other countries at Canadian airports during October, a huge increase compared to the 18,300 that flew into Canada in October 2020 when international travel restrictions remains in place.

In October 2019, before the pandemic hit, 608,000 people arrived to Canada from other countries.

The majority of international visitors this past October were from the U.S., with 114,200 Americans flying into Canada.

The numbers may not be 100 per cent accurate, as it only counts flights to airports with electronic kiosks, StatCan acknowledged, noting that the Toronto Pearson terminal only installed these specific kiosks in June 2021.

Travel by land also increased. There were 292,200 trips into Canada by U.S. residents travelling by land in October, compared to around 65,000 in the same month last year. However, it’s still far below the 994,100 U.S. arrivals by land border that occurred in October 2019.

Canadian residents returning to the country by car from the U.S. increased in October as well compared to the same month in 2020, with around 48,000 more residents crossing the border back into Canada.

This is a preliminary release of data, StatCan said, and the full set of data will be arriving in mid-December.

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