Travel Activities and Motivations Survey

Out-of-Province Travel by Residents of Alberta

Full report available in pdf format

Canadian Travel Market

A Profile Report — February 4, 2008

Executive summary

Over the last two years, 82.8% (2,042,443) of adult Alberta residents took an out-of-province, overnight trip (for any purpose). 90.4% (1,846,759) of those who took a trip outside of Alberta reported taking an out-of-province pleasure trip during the past two years. 84.5% of the out-of-province pleasure trips were taken to Canadian destinations and especially British Columbia (76.8%). 59.8% of the out-of-province pleasure trips were to destinations outside of Canada, primarily to the United States (49.9%).

Out-of-province travelers are similar to within-province travelers in terms of their gender and age. However, out-of-province travelers are more likely to be married and less likely to have children 18 and younger living at home. Out-of-province pleasure travelers are also more likely to have university degrees and higher household incomes. This suggests that affluent couples are most likely to take trips outside of Alberta.

Out-of-province travelers were more active in culture and entertainment activities while on trips than within-province travelers. Out-of-province travelers were especially more likely to have visited historical sites, museums and art galleries and to have attended live arts performances. They were also more likely to have gambled at casinos, participated in wine, beer and food tastings and attended professional sporting events. On the other hand, those who traveled exclusively within Alberta were more likely to have attended amateur sporting events and equestrian or western events. Out-of-province travelers were also more active in outdoor activities while on trips and especially warm-weather, resort-based activities, golfing, downhill skiing and exercising and jogging. By contrast, those who only took pleasure trips within Alberta were more likely to have gone hunting, cycling and motorcycling. Out-of-province travelers more often took self-guided and guided, multi-location tours, city tours, tours of wineries, factories and casinos. Within-province travelers primarily took self-guided, sameday tours and scenic country drives.

Out-of-province travelers prefer vacations that provide learning opportunities and novelty. Within-province travelers prefer vacations that allow them to keep family ties alive. Within-province travelers also prefer destinations that are conveniently accessible by car, train or bus, have a familiar culture and language, have lots of activities for children and budget accommodation or camping available. Out-of-province travelers are much more likely to use the Internet to plan (69.3%) and book (45.3%) travel than within-province travelers. They are also much more likely to use travel media. Out-of-province travelers may also be most effectively reached through news and current events media and soft rock radio stations. Within-province travelers may best be reached through home-oriented magazines, entertainment television (e.g., situation comedies) and oldies and country music radio stations.