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

U.S. Travelers to British Columbia

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — January 30, 2008

Executive summary

Over the last two years, 3.2% of adult Americans (7,025,878) took an overnight pleasure trip to British Columbia. This represents 4.1% of U.S. Pleasure Travelers. British Columbia was the second most frequently visited Canadian destination (behind Ontario) by U.S. Pleasure Travelers during the past two years.

Those who visited British Columbia are most likely to live in neighbouring Washington State and Alaska. There is also an above-average rate of visits among residents of Oregon, Montana, Idaho and California, and, rather interestingly, Delaware and the District of Columbia. They tend to be over-represented among those from large cities. They are frequent travelers and much more likely than other U.S. Pleasure Travelers to have traveled to all Canada destinations in the last two years and especially the western provinces.

U.S. Visitors to British Columbia are over-represented among those 45 years of age or older (64.9%) without dependent children 18 or younger living at home. They are also more likely than average to have a post-graduate degree and an above-average household income. As such, British Columbia Visitors tend to be over-represented among affluent, mature couples. Their age and affluence are reflected in the types of activities they pursue while on trips.

Those who visited British Columbia are more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to participate in culture and entertainment activities while on trips, with specific interest in educational activities (e.g., historical sites, museums and galleries; aboriginal cultural experiences) and the performing arts. They are also much more active than average in outdoor activities while on trips and especially skiing, golfing, fitness activities and nature-oriented activities. They have most often stayed at resorts and campgrounds in the last two years, but were especially likely to have stayed at ski or mountain resorts and wilderness lodges. They are also more likely to have toured using a motor home or RV and to have stayed at accommodation specializing in fine cuisine.

Those who visited British Columbia prefer vacations that provide intellectual stimulation, opportunities to learn and novelty. They prefer destinations that are culturally distinctive, offer both camping and mid-range priced accommodation, and that are conveniently accessible by air, bus or train.