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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 4:20 PM
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What proportion of Americans have likely visited Canada (or Mexico) at least once?

"Mexico was the top U.S. international destination last year, with a record 25.9 million visitors from the U.S",

According to an article from 2015.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...729-story.html

Canada got about 11.5 million US visitors.

https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-630...017001-eng.htm

Also, it seems like according to these stats, roughly for the past generation or so, Canada gets about 10 million American tourists yearly.

It's hard to tell how many people are repeat visitors versus new ones, and averaged over the lifespan of the typical American, would the number of Americans who visited either Canada or visited Mexico at least once in their lifetime make up a majority of the population or not?
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 4:25 PM
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Since I lived in TX, I've run into people who've been to mexico far more than Canada. When I lived in NY, rarely came across anyone who visited Mexico (and those that did went there by cruise ship) but have visited Canada.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 4:25 PM
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In the Canada section of this discussion forum, there was a thread about how likely it was for Canadians to meet someone who never visited the US.

It seemed like most people agreed that few Canadians have absolutely never visited the US at least once (especially considering how many Canadians live close to the border). It's mostly smaller town Canadians farther from the US border, or recent first-generation Canadians who haven't traveled to the US.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=231056

It's more common for Americans to have never crossed into either of the bordering countries on the north or the south, but I'm curious if they'd make up a majority or not?
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:20 PM
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i would say that the majority of people that i know have been to canada and mexico at least once each, but i may certainly not know a representative cross section of americans, generally speaking.

i have no idea how you would track down such data, so all we'll likely get in this thread are a bunch of anecdotal contributions like mine.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i would say that the majority of people that i know have been to canada and mexico at least once each, but i may certainly not know a representative cross section of americans, generally speaking.

i have no idea how you would track down such data, so all we'll likely get in this thread are a bunch of anecdotal contributions like mine.
Wouldn't an extensive poll get one a fairly accurate number? Surely such a study has been conducted before. That said, I'll put my 2 cents in. If I had to guess I'd say about 10-15% of Americans have been to Canada before. About 10-15% have been to Mexico.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i would say that the majority of people that i know have been to canada and mexico at least once each, but i may certainly not know a representative cross section of americans, generally speaking.

i have no idea how you would track down such data. so all we'll likely get in this thread is a bunch of anecdotal contributions like mine.
The US has data on it down to the minute, but I don't know if it's easily accessible for internet people to look up.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post

Also, it seems like according to these stats, roughly for the past generation or so, Canada gets about 10 million American tourists yearly.

It's hard to tell how many people are repeat visitors versus new ones, and averaged over the lifespan of the typical American, would the number of Americans who visited either Canada or visited Mexico at least once in their lifetime make up a majority of the population or not?
I'd like to know too but don't think it's anywhere close to half of Americans. The number of Americans with a passport would be a good place to start although having one didn't used to be a requirement for entry to Canada.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:57 PM
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I was going to ask, do you now need a passport to go to Canada and/or Mexico? Because only about 35% of Americans even have one.

I would guess that the vast majority of American visits to Canada are repeat visits by people who live fairly close to the border or work in certain industries.

I also think it would be more interesting to know how many Americans had been to "real Mexico" (for lack of a better term), not including the resorts like Cancun, Cabo, etc. I would reckon that VERY few Americans without family in Mexico have been to places that are actually Mexican, or for reasons other than hot weather and cheap booze.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:58 PM
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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
I'd like to know too but don't think it's anywhere close to half of Americans. The number of Americans with a passport would be a good place to start although having one didn't used to be a requirement for entry to Canada.
The "didn't need a passport to go to Canada" thing might lead to an underestimate based on passport ownership, plus wouldn't there be an undercount if someone had a passport at some point but not any more?

For example, if someone traveled over 10 years ago but has not used his or her passport ever since and never renewed it, it expires and then would fall into the "no passport" statistic, right?
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 6:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
The "didn't need a passport to go to Canada" thing might lead to an underestimate based on passport ownership, plus wouldn't there be an undercount if someone had a passport at some point but not any more?

For example, if someone traveled over 10 years ago but has not used his or her passport ever since and never renewed it, it expires and then would fall into the "no passport" statistic, right?
Yes, it's a little problematic. I didn't need a passport when I went to NYC in 1993. In 2011 when I popped over to International Falls, Minnesota from Fort Frances, Ontario to have dinner I definitely needed a passport.

The Canadian border services now track movement so we'll get better data going forward.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 6:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
The "didn't need a passport to go to Canada" thing might lead to an underestimate based on passport ownership, plus wouldn't there be an undercount if someone had a passport at some point but not any more?

For example, if someone traveled over 10 years ago but has not used his or her passport ever since and never renewed it, it expires and then would fall into the "no passport" statistic, right?
Sure. But you can't assume that every American with a passport has been to Canada, either.

I would definitely wager that the % of Americans who have been to Canada is lower than the % of current passport holders. In fact I would be very surprised if more than 1 in 4 Americans have been to Canada, and it's probably much less than that.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 6:22 PM
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Agree that the number of Americans who have been to Canada is very small. There's also a ton of Americans who've never left their state.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 6:33 PM
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Speaking from my own personal experience and observation, I know quite a number of people who've been to Mexico, and fewer people who've been to Canada.

I know people (my boss included) who also have timeshares in Mexico, so that's why they go often.

It used to be that Americans didn't need passports to go to Mexico... or Canada... or many Caribbean nations. Post 9/11, I think Americans even need passports to go to the Caribbean... but I could be wrong?

Myself, I've only ever been to Tijuana, and I don't count that as having been in Mexico. I've never been to Canada, either.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 11:45 PM
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I'm one of the few Americans who have visited both countries beyond the tourist regions. My dad is the only other person I know who also had that chance. I went to Montreal as a kid and Mexico City, Puebla, and Cancun a few years ago.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 2:10 AM
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Agree that the number of Americans who have been to Canada is very small. There's also a ton of Americans who've never left their state.
so what are you really trying to say.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 4:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I was going to ask, do you now need a passport to go to Canada and/or Mexico? Because only about 35% of Americans even have one.
No (at least to go to Mexico), but you now need one to come back (to the US). This is a post-9/11 thing. Previously you didn't need one for either country. All of my visits to Canada were before 9/11 and I never needed one. My last visit to Mexico was a week ago and I did (and I crossed with my sister's exchange student from the Dominican Republic so the jerk from Immigation inspected our passports minutely).
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 4:14 AM
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I'm one of the few Americans who have visited both countries beyond the tourist regions. My dad is the only other person I know who also had that chance. I went to Montreal as a kid and Mexico City, Puebla, and Cancun a few years ago.
What do you consider the "tourist regions" of Canada? Most Americans visiting probably go to cities but most travellers going to any country probably go to its cities.

I've taken the train from Vancouver to Toronto and I crossed Newfoundland on an earlier trip so technically I may have been to more of Canada than most Canadians.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 4:19 AM
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I've been to both. Mexico much more so than Canada.

Next time I go to Canada I'd like to explore the Canadian Rockies. Calgary seems like a good spot to land and drive west from there.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 4:37 AM
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I think the fundamental reason why Americans don't travel abroad is because the country is large and geographically diverse enough to have a lot of domestic tourist attractions while being a long expensive plane ride from safe, mainstream foreign destinations that aren't Cancun or Montego Bay or wherever the cruise ships like to stop. Also Americans don't get as much time off or paid vacation as Europeans.

If you are Canadian, you have to go to the US if you want to experience warm weather beaches, Disney Land/World, visit iconic big cities like NY, etc.

Quote:
What do you consider the "tourist regions" of Canada? Most Americans visiting probably go to cities but most travellers going to any country probably go to its cities.
Just a guess, but its gotta be BC considering how popular cruises are. Its got the most iconic landscape and natural wonders that people associate with Canada.

Toronto and Montreal are cool but unless you lived in Michigan or Upstate NY/Northern New England and had the opportunity to make a short road trip would you spend a lot of money on a family vacation to see them?

This is probably why fewer Americans go to Canada than vice versa. Not saying there isn't a lot to see in Canada but I imagine its skewed towards one or two huge heavyweight destinations, like the Pacific Northwest coast, rather than a bunch of smaller places it takes more than one visit to see?

Quote:
I also think it would be more interesting to know how many Americans had been to "real Mexico" (for lack of a better term), not including the resorts like Cancun, Cabo, etc. I would reckon that VERY few Americans without family in Mexico have been to places that are actually Mexican, or for reasons other than hot weather and cheap booze.
Probably a perception that Mexico is not hospitable to mainstream tourists who aren't conversationally fluent in the language and culture and also have some sort of personal guide or contact to explain where to go and what to do?

I don't know Anthony Bourdain personally so no I haven't been to Cd. Neza or Ectapec to personally try the fried rat tacos and mole flavored pulque, but I'll take your word for it.

Last edited by llamaorama; Jan 4, 2018 at 4:53 AM.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 4:53 AM
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something like 40% of americans have passports.

it's hard to get statistics beyond things like which countries were popular in which years, but they usually show between 5% and 10% of overseas trips to the big tourist destinations like france, mexico, and the UK. canada rarely even enters the picture, since, no offense, there are no world-class tourist destinations in canada. montreal comes closest, and places like whistler-blackcomb are certainly destinations for a certain demographic.

my wild-ass-guess: 25% of americans have been to canada, and more than half of those are people who live relatively near the border and have popped across without a passport or a major destination.
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