Statistics Canada says spending on tourism continued to grow last year, but remained well below pre-pandemic levels.

The agency says tourism expenditures between October and December rose for the seventh consecutive quarter, increasing by 2.1 per cent from the third quarter to $20.1 billion.

For the full year, tourism spending jumped 45 per cent to $74.38 billion as domestic and international travel roared back with COVID-19 restrictions lifted.

However, that figure sits more than a fifth below 2019 tourism spending levels, which neared $95 billion.

Statistics Canada says domestic spending on tourism activities dipped between the third and fourth quarter, but purchases from foreign visitors more than made up the difference with a leap of 17.5 per cent.

The agency says tourism sustained 657,400 jobs in the fourth quarter, 1.5 per cent more than the quarter before.