OTTAWA, Nov. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - While economic growth has been sluggish this year, low gas prices and a weak Canadian dollar have helped boost travel to and within Canada. Overnight visits are on track to expand by 3 per cent this year and next, according to The Conference Board of Canada's latest Travel Markets Outlook for both national and metropolitan cities. "The tourism sector is one of the handful benefiting from the low Canadian dollar. We're seeing increased levels of both U.S. and international visitors that are nothing short of tremendous and restore much of the travel volume lost during the past decade," said Greg Hermus, Associate Director for the Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Tourism Research Institute. On top of the nearly 10 per cent growth last year, overnight visits from the U.S. are expected to increase a further 7.8 per cent this year. Beyond the low Canadian dollar and gasoline prices, Canada is known as a safe travel destination which is inevitably resonating with American travellers as many other competing destinations struggle with safety concerns. Similarly, overseas arrivals to Canada saw an increase of 8.7 per cent this year, but are expected to cool slightly in 2017 to an estimated 6.4 per cent. Growing consumer confidence, increases in disposable income and a few major events, in particular the 150 th anniversary of Confederation and Montréal's 375 th anniversary, will see domestic pleasure travel increase by an estimated 3.2 per cent in 2017. Travel prices are forecasted to continue ramping up slowly with increases ranging between 2.1 and 2.3 per cent between 2017 and 2020. While travellers were hit with a 3.7 per cent increase for accommodations in 2016, a more moderate annual increase at a pace between 2 and 3 per cent is expected across the forecast horizon. Travellers can also expect to spend between 2.1 and 2.4 per cent more for food and beverage services.