Currently 220,000 Canadians are registered on our registration of Canadians abroad program. It's a voluntary program. Canadians provide details on where they're going to be, under strict privacy and security rules, so they're confident that their information isn't going to be misused by others and will only be used for consular purposes. We draw on that information to send out alerts when there are emergencies or security-related natural disaster circumstances in their destinations, to provide advice and establish contact and ensure their well-being. For example, this year about 650 emergency notifications went out.
However, we know that this number of 220,000 is a small percentage of the travelling public. In particular, many travellers go to destinations that they perceive as being low risk. Most Canadians are travelling to the United States. That is by far the foreign destination most people go to, and when people travel to the United States, they don't normally consider it useful to register on this kind of service. They expect their trip will be smooth.
Part of what we're doing is to reach out through social media channels. We have a Facebook and Twitter presence, which is growing quickly, and to incorporate them we also have new messaging apps to try to reach a greater percentage of the travelling public, in particular those groups and sectors that might not be as likely to research our websites or to actively seek out information. I think of young travellers in particular.
We also visit trade fairs and industry conferences, and we've undertaken a series of surveys of returning travelling Canadians at airports this year to get from them directly what kinds of sources they're more likely to use, the type of format and context they're looking for that would be of most use to them. We're working on a new, much more targeted communications strategy to try to reach out.
I'm not aware of any of our partners who have a mandatory registration. It would be pretty difficult, I think, to put in place, and I think that our strategy is to look at how we can ensure that more Canadians are aware of the potential value to them of having their coordinates on file with us so we can reach them quickly in case of emergency.
We've just come through one of the more intense Atlantic hurricane seasons we've seen, and that will help the travelling public's awareness this year. Our challenge is to make sure we can increase awareness without people having to go through those kinds of very difficult circumstances.