The Influence of Immigration on Tourism - The Case of Canada

Colloquium: Center for Chinese Studies | April 27 | 5-6:30 p.m. | 221 Kroeber Hall | Note change in location

 Frederic Dimanche, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Ryerson University

 Canadian Studies Program (CAN)), Tourism Studies Working Group

Over half of all immigrants in Canada settled in three major tourism destinations: Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. Before the 1980s, Canada was welcoming over half of all immigrants and travellers from Europe and America. Now the share of these immigrants has decreased to under 30% as of 2016 and Asia has become over the years the main source of immigrants (over 48%). Mirroring this trend, tourist arrivals from Asia have increased while European arrivals stabilized. More specifically, the average growth in the number of Chinese tourists was almost 12% per year after 1990, and apart from the U.S., China now remains the top tourism market in Toronto and Vancouver, and it has a growing importance for tourism development in Montréal. Canada’s tourism sector has an employed labour force of over 1.7 million and almost 25% of these workers are immigrants or foreign workers. It is estimated that the demand for labour will increase to 2.29 million by 2035. However, the work force in the aging population will not be able to respond to that demand, and the role of immigrants in the job market will become more vital, especially in the metropolitan areas.

This study aims to determine the potential impacts of immigration on inbound tourism and on the Canadian labour market in cities by using secondary data. Statistical evidence strongly supports the hypothesis that immigration may be one of the major contributors to international travel flows and growth in the tourism sector.