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The motor coach and group travel industry are an important part of the Canadian travel and tourism sector. It’s a diverse industry offering from scheduled bus service, to student travel to luxury coach tours. Coach companies, tour operators and tourism service providers (hotels, restaurants attractions, etc) all work together to offer the public first class travel experiences.
In 2012, tourism spending in Canada reached $81.9 billion, with $66.4 billion coming from domestic travel and $15.5 billion coming from international visitors. This makes tourism an essential part of the overall Canadian economy, contributing $32.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product.
But the Canadian stats only tell half of the story. Canadian tour operators also arrange travel to U.S. destinations. In 2012 the number of Canadians visiting the U.S. increased 6.4%, reaching 22.7 million overnight trips and representing almost $17.5 billion in travel spending. Just as Americans are the biggest market for visitors to Canada, Canadians remain far and away the largest market for international visitation to the U.S.
Each motor coach on an overnight tour generates up to $14,000 per day in economic activity, including spending on accommodation, meals, entertainment and souvenirs.
Modern motor coaches are one of the most convenient, reliable, affordable and safe ways to travel. They are generally equipped with a full range of amenities from washrooms to Wi-Fi connections which make travel by coach a great way to get around Canada and the U.S. That’s why motor coaches carry about 860 million passengers a year in Canada and the U.S. (774 million passengers in the U.S., and approximately 86 million in Canada). To carry all of those passengers, they go more than 200 million miles a year in Canada.
Despite all of those kilometers travelled, coach accidents are extremely rare and in fact study after study has shown that buses are the safest vehicle on the road. In fact, bus passenger fatalities account for less than one half of a percent of all highway fatalities. Despite its extremely positive safety record, the industry is never content to rest on its laurels when it comes to safety and bus operators constantly take a pro-active approach to ensuring the safety record of the industry is continually improved.
For more information about the group travel and motor coach industries, please contact the OMCA office.