Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. The second largest country in the world, Canada's wide geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. Much of the country's tourism is centred in the following regions: Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver/Whistler, Niagara Falls, Vancouver Island, Canadian Rockies, British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, Churchill, Manitoba and the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau. The large cities are known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites.

A tour guide in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill.

In 2019, over 22 million tourists arrived in Canada, bringing in over US$21 billion in international tourism receipts to the economy.[1] Domestic and international tourism combined directly contributes 1% of Canada's total GDP and supports 309,000 jobs in the country.[2]



Most visitors arriving to Canada in 2015 came from the following countries of residence[3]

Rank Country Number
1 United States 22,057,860
2 United Kingdom 733,280
3 China 511,234
4 France 507,627
5 Germany 343,716
6 Australia 307,123
7 Japan 294,934
8 Mexico 204,756
9 South Korea 204,741
10 India 200,094
Total visiting foreign residents 27,554,943

World Heritage Sites in Canada


There are 22 World Heritage Sites in Canada, including one of the oldest, Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territories (1978), and one of the newest, the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta (2019). Of these 22 sites, 10 are listed for their Cultural Heritage, 11 for their Natural Heritage, and one (Pimachiowin Aki) is a Mixed site.[4]

Canada's provinces and territories



Moraine Lake, and the Valley of the Ten Peaks

Alberta is a province in Canada's western prairies next to the Rocky Mountains. Its two major cities are Calgary and Edmonton, the province's capital. Edmonton is well known for West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America, formerly the largest in the world. Edmonton is also known as Canada's festival city, with over 60 festivals happening year round. Edmonton is home to the area of Old Strathcona, a historical district with boutique shopping, music, arts, and many restaurants. Calgary is famous for the Calgary Stampede, the world's largest rodeo and one of the biggest open air events worldwide attracting up to 1.5 million visitors every year.

Another world-class attraction is the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, home to 5 Guinness World Records due to its unique collection of dinosaur fossils including the longest-necked animal's skeleton in the world.[5][6] Alberta also contains significant natural scenery, including six of Canada's twenty UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are Banff and Jasper National Parks, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. In the southeast, Alberta shares with Saskatchewan the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, a geographic region of importance both to Indigenous history and to the North-West Mounted Police.

Alberta is an important skiing destination for tourists. It has several world-class ski resorts. Canada Olympic Park, with its downhill ski and ski jumping facilities, is in the city of Calgary.

British Columbia

Canada Place and the Burrard Inlet.

British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province and touches the Pacific Ocean.[7] The winters in the coastal areas are relatively warm in comparison to the rest of Canada. British Columbia is divided into 6 regions:

  • Vancouver, Coast & Mountains
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Cariboo Coast Chilcotin
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Kootenay Rockies
  • Vancouver Island

British Columbia is Canada's most mountainous province and has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Alpine skiing is a major draw for the province. The province has about 33 large ski resorts spread out from Vancouver Island to the Alberta border. Whistler, British Columbia, nestled in the rugged Coast Mountains, is consistently ranked as the #1 ski resort destination in North America[8] and co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Vancouver, the largest Canadian metropolitan area west of Toronto, is one of Canada's most multi-cultural cities. There is a large community of people of Asian origin.[9] Vancouver is a harbour city and provides beautiful landscapes of mountains and ocean.

Sites of interest in Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Vancouver is home to the

Victoria, British Columbia, on scenic Vancouver Island, is a major Canadian tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year. Popular activities for tourists are whale watching, enjoying the busking in the inner harbour area and visiting world-famous Butchart Gardens.

Long Beach (Pacific Rim National Park) and the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet are popular tourist areas. Tofino, a town of only a few thousand, hosts more than one million visitors each year. Many new resorts are being built in the area to accommodate surfers, beach lovers, storm watchers and golfers.

Whale watching is common along the coastal areas of British Columbia as is Pacific storm watching along the west coast of Vancouver Island during the winter months.

Wine tours are common in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia's wine and orchard country. The Okanagan Valley area has some of the best beaches and warmest summer temperatures in Canada, as well as Canada's only hot desert around the town of Osoyoos. There are 53 golf courses and two major ski resorts in the valley.

British Columbia is also a popular location for the production of many Hollywood films; it is the third largest film centre in North America only trailing California and New York.



Manitoba is home to many lakes and rivers with over 14.5% of the land area covered by lakes. This offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, boating, and some of the finest beaches in North America, including Grand Beach, Victoria Beach and Winnipeg Beach. The province is a four-season travel destination offering cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities, as well as many miles of groomed ski-doo trails. Winnipeg, the province's capital, offers every season a world class skating trail. Using the Red River and the Assiniboine River, Winnipeg has created the world's longest skating trail since 2008, including the all-time record. Churchill on the Hudson Bay is a popular attraction due to the large polar bear and beluga whale populations.

As the capital city, Winnipeg, with a population of near 815,000, offers many cultural and artistic events, museums and year-round festivals. Brandon, Manitoba is a city of 56,000. Other cities with more than 10,000 people are Steinbach, Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk and Winkler. Winnipeg has one of the best architectural settings in Canada. Half of its downtown consists of high-rise buildings from 1880 to 1920. It also has the famous Exchange District, which is known as North America's best collection of architecture wonders. Setting from 1850 to 1920 the area of 56 square blocks has kept 95% of its historical buildings. Giving the tourist setting as they are walking in what Winnipeg looked like in 1920.

Sites of interest in Winnipeg


Winnipeg is also home to:

Other sites of interest in the province


Festivals and events


Major parks of interest


New Brunswick


New Brunswick is renowned for its sandy beaches especially along the Northumberland Strait, which in summer has the warmest water north of Virginia.

Saint John, a large city in New Brunswick and the oldest incorporated in Canada, sits at the mouth of the Saint John River. It is steeped with history, from the Irish immigration to a great fire in the 1877. The port city has numerous Victorian houses and 18th- and 19th-century architecture in the uptown area. The Saint John port welcomes close to 80 cruise ships a year with sites including:

Moncton, the province's largest city and recreational centre, has the following tourist attractions:

Fredericton, the province's capital and third largest city, is a cultural and educational centre, housing the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, and is filled with neighbourhoods featuring large Victorian-style homes. Other attractions at Fredericton include:

Newfoundland and Labrador

L'Anse aux Meadows

Newfoundland and Labrador attracts many tourists because of its icebergs and fjords. The iceberg that struck the Titanic passed by on the nearby Iceberg Alley in 1912. The island was settled by Leif Ericsson, an Icelandic sailor, in 1000 A.D. Remains of this settlement can still be found in L'Anse aux Meadows, northern Newfoundland. Other Europeans settled in 1497, headed by an expedition by John Cabot.

The province's capital, St. John's, is the oldest city in North America, founded in 1497 by John Cabot. It contains many historical locations, such as Cabot Tower, receiver of the first wireless trans-Atlantic message in 1901. Steeped in a long, proud history and home to a rich, unique culture, St. John's residents are known for their hospitality, and their city is a major travel destination in Newfoundland both domestically and for foreign travellers. In recent years, St. John's has become a popular stop for cruise ships originating from ports in Canada, the United States and Europe. The cruise industry has brought tens of thousands of tourists to the St. John's area. In the city's downtown core, George Street, renowned for its nightlife, is home to the most bars and pubs per square foot in North America.

Just outside St. John's lies Cape Spear, the most eastern point in North America. From this point, London in the UK is closer than Vancouver.

Northwest Territories


Northwest Territories attractions include:

Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia is seen as a destination to experience local cuisine, visit historic sites and enjoy the civic and natural environment. The seaside is particularly strong attraction.[10]

Major sites of interest

Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, Canada's first National Historic Site

Halifax, the provincial capital, has several major attractions, such as the Pier 21 museum, Citadel Hill, and the Public Gardens. The Halifax Metro Centre is home to numerous events both sport-related and otherwise, such as the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Downtown Halifax is considered the prime tourism district in Halifax, with most historic attractions located here as well as the waterfront harbourwalk, a continuous 3 km (2 mi) stretch of boardwalk home to street vendors, entertainers, the Casino Nova Scotia, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Downtown Halifax is also the location of several major hotels.

Nunavut Territory


Nunavut is probably the most expensive of all the tourist destinations in Canada. Attractions in Nunavut include:



Ontario is the most populous and second largest province in Canada. Southern Ontario is home to the nation's capital, Ottawa, and Canada's largest city, Toronto, which is the provincial capital and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The forests and numerous lakes of central Ontario and northern Ontario also provide popular hiking and camping destinations.

Sites of interest in Ottawa

The Centre Block on Parliament Hill

Sites of interest in Toronto

CN Tower

Other sites of interest in Ontario


Prince Edward Island


Prince Edward Island is the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery's character, Anne of Green Gables, and a recreation of her literary home, Green Gables Farm, serves as a museum to the character. The island is also famous around the world for its potato farms and rich red sand beaches.

Other tourists attractions in Prince Edward Island include, among others:


Quebec City with Château Frontenac

Quebec, a majority francophone province, is a major tourist draw. Quebec City is a taste of old France in the new world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Montreal, the second largest francophone city in the world, has several tourist attractions.

Sites of interest in Montreal


Sites of interest in Quebec City


Sites of interest in Maritime Quebec


Other sites of interest in Quebec




Saskatchewan offers two major cities, Regina and Saskatoon. Regina is home to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Academy at Depot Division where visitors can view the Sergeant Major's Parade held weekdays and the seasonal Sunset Retreat Ceremonies. Regina is also home to the RCMP Heritage Centre, which opened in May 2007. Saskatoon is home to the largest branch of the Western Development Museum, which houses important artifacts and recreations of the early settlement of the Canadian prairies.

The prairie province also has the most golf courses and water bodies per capita of any other province. Statistically the warmest summers with the most sunlight hours in Canada occur in Saskatoon. Natural attractions include Cypress Hills Provincial Park, the Great Sand Hills, and Scottie the Dinosaur (the largest intact Tyrannosaurus rex found in North America).

Saskatoon also has many famous attractions, such as the Remai Modern art museum on the river bank, and the city is also home to the Western Development Museum.

Yukon Territory


With its history of the Klondike Gold Rush, First Nations culture and spectacular wilderness, the Yukon Territory has an extensive tourism industry, welcoming over 300,000 visitors a year. Tourist attractions include the gold rush town of Dawson City, Kluane National Park and Reserve and a number of attractions in Whitehorse and other communities. Opportunities for wilderness adventure tourism and ecotourism abound (hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, dog-sledding), but the territory is also served by a well-developed road network, with most places accessible by road.

Watson Lake Sign Post Forest makes its home in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. It was first settled by a U.S. soldier who repaired road signs and added his home sign of Illinois. Now this is home to over 77,000 different road signs.

Neighbouring countries


See also



  1. ^ "Research - Tourism in Canada". Destination Canada. Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  2. ^ "Travel and Tourism; Economic Impact 2013; Canada" (PDF). World Travel & Tourism Council. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "International Travel: Advance Information" (PDF). Statistics Canada. December 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-02.
  4. ^ "Canada – UNESCO World Heritage Convention". Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  5. ^ "Alberta museum earns 5 Guinness World Records with dinosaur skeleton collection - CBC News". CBC. 2021-11-05. Archived from the original on 2021-11-10. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  6. ^ Atwal, Sanj (2021-10-13). "Five record-breaking fossils you can find at the Royal Tyrrell Museum". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 2021-11-11. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  7. ^ "A Beautifyful Journey of Canada's most spectacular Rocky Mountains". Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Official Destination Website for Whistler BC – Tourism Whistler". Tourism Whistler. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Metro Vancouver – Home" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  10. ^ "Tourism Nova Scotia: Market Highlights (North-eastern United States)" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Victoria Row". Charlottetown Area Development Corporation. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  12. ^ "West Point Lighthouse". Canadian Register of Historic Places. November 1, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "Confederation Bridge". Strait Crossing Development Inc. Retrieved July 26, 2018.