International travel to Canada on the rise as pandemic restrictions lift

By Michael Lee

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TORONTO (CTV Network) — International travel to Canada has continued to rise with the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions but remains below pre-pandemic levels, according to a report from Statistics Canada released Tuesday. In March 2022, 148,900 overseas residents arrived in Canada, the report said. Although this figure is more than five times as many compared to March 2021, it’s less than half or 43 per cent of the number of overseas residents who entered Canada that same month in 2019. US residents made 465,200 trips to Canada in March 2022, nearly five times as many as March 2021. However, this was 31.9 per cent of the 1.5 million trips taken in March 2019. Of the total trips made by Americans in March 2022, 310,300 were by automobile, with 42 per cent being same-day returns . The number of European visitors to Canada, meanwhile, jumped to 68,800 in March 2022 from 5,600 in March 2021, while visitors from Asia also rose to 33,700 from 12,100. Both were also below March 2019 levels, the report said. The government eased a number of travel restrictions in February, including showing federally vaccinated travelers the option of rather an antigen test taken a day before a scheduled flight or arrival at a land border crossing, than a more expensive PCR test. That month, the federal government also lifted restrictions that limited the number of airports that could receive international flights. More border measures were in April, with fully vaccinated travelers no longer required to provide a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test to enter Canada. Canadians returned from 1.3 million trips to the United States in March 2022, more than five times as many as March 2021, although still 33.4 per cent of the four million trips taken in March 2019. Of the total returning trips made by travelers from Canada in March, 775,800 were by automobile and just under half of those were same-day trips. The number of return air trips by Canadians rose to 549,300 in March 2022, a sharp increase from 18,900 in March 2021 but 48.3 per cent of March 2019. More Canadians also appeared to take March Break vacations, with 685,000 residents returning visits from overseas, up from 48,800 in March 2021 but less than half of the 1.4 million Canadians who flew home in March 2019.

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Phil Hahnphil.hahn@bellmedia.ca416 508 6396

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