Travel abroad highest in 18 years: StatsCan

Statistics Canada says Canadians made 5.1 million trips outside the country in December, up 1.5 per cent from November.

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says Canadians made 5.1 million trips outside the country in December, up 1.5 per cent from November.

December marked the first time since March 1994 that monthly travel abroad surpassed the five million mark.

Same-day car trips to the United States rose 4.2 per cent to 2.5 million, the highest monthly level since May 1998.

In total, travel by Canadian residents to the United States rose 2.2 per cent with a 0.6 per cent decline in trips of one or more nights.

Travel from Canada to countries other than the United States fell 2.3 per cent from November to 761,000 trips.

In the opposite direction, travel to Canada by foreign residents rose 0.6 per cent to just over 2.0 million trips, with more visits from both the United States and overseas.

Travel from the United States increased 0.5 per cent to over 1.6 million trips, driven by a 2.0 per cent rise in same-day car visits by Americans.

The total of 599,000 same-day car trips was the highest monthly level in 2011 and offset a 0.4 per cent decline in overnight travel by Americans.

Travel by overseas residents to Canada rose 1.3 per cent to 389,000 trips, the highest level since September 2008.

Travel from eight of Canada’s top 12 overseas markets rose in December. Travel from India increased 12.5 per to 15,000, the highest level since record-keeping began in 1972.