Travel activities and motivations survey — U.S. Travel Market

U.S. Travelers to Alberta

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — January 29, 2008
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 0.9% of adult Americans (2,042,331) took an overnight to Alberta. This represents 1.2% of the U.S. Pleasure Travelers. Alberta was the second most frequently visited western Canadian destination by U.S. Pleasure Travelers (behind British Columbia) in the past two years.

Those who visited Alberta are most likely to live in Alaska or in Montana. There is also an above-average rate of visits among the residents of Washington State, North Dakota Utah and Wyoming. They are frequent travelers and much more likely than other U.S. Pleasure Travelers to have traveled to all areas of Canada in the last two years.

Those who visited Alberta tend to be older (50.5% are 55 or older) than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, and consistent with this fact, they are less likely to have children 18 or younger living at home. They are also more likely to have a university education and report above-average household incomes. As such, travelers to Alberta are over-represented among affluent, mature couples.

Those who visited Alberta were more likely than the average U.S. Traveler to have participated in educational, cultural activities (e.g., historical sites, museums and galleries; aboriginal cultural experiences) and to have attended live art performances (e.g., high art performances) and theatre, film and music festivals while on trips. They were very active in outdoor activities while traveling and especially skiing, golfing, fitness activities (e.g., cycling, exercising and jogging) and nature-oriented activities (e.g., wildlife viewing, horseback riding, hiking, climbing and paddling). They were much more likely than average to take tours and cruises and in particular, freshwater and ocean cruises, organized tours, wilderness tours and tours of wineries, factories or casinos. They tend to stay at resorts (e.g., ski resorts) but were especially likely to have stayed in a wilderness area or to have toured in a motor home.

Alberta Visitors are especially likely to pursue vacations that provide intellectual stimulation, learning opportunities and novelty, at destinations that are culturally distinctive, have lots to see and do, offer both camping and mid-priced accommodation and are conveniently accessible by air, bus or train. This suggests that Alberta should promote its cultural distinctiveness and novelty to the American marketplace.

Those who visited Alberta are above-average users of the Internet to plan (76.7%) and book travel (59.3%). They are also above-average consumers of travel media. They may be most effectively targeted though educational television programming (e.g., history, biographies, science and nature), news media, (e.g., television news, all-news / talk / information radio stations), city lifestyle magazines and classical music radio stations.