The federal agency says it was the 11th consecutive quarterly increase in tourism spending in Canada.
Tourism spending by Canadians at home rose 0.6 per cent in the quarter, continuing an upward trend that began in the third quarter of 2009.
From the first quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of 2012, tourism spending by Canadians at home has increased 47 per cent.
Spending by foreign visitors rose two per cent in the first quarter, following gains in overnight travel from both the United States and countries overseas.
Tourism employment was virtually unchanged in the first quarter as job losses in the transportation and accommodation offset gains in the food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment among others.