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

Boating and Swimming While on Trips of One or More Nights

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A Profile Report — May 15 , 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 16.2% (35,876,397) of adult Americans participated in freshwater boating and swimming activities while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. Swimming in lakes (12.6%) was the most popular activity, followed by motorboating (7.0%) and waterskiing (2.9%). 28.2% (10,100,110) of Boaters and Swimmers reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

The majority of Boaters and Swimmers are 18 to 44 years of age and married. They are more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to have dependent children (under 18) living at home. Their household income ($80,870) and level of education (60.7% university graduate) tends to be slightly above-average. They are over-represented in Alaska and the West North Central, East North Central and New England regions of the United States.

Over the past two years, Boaters and Swimmers traveled more frequently than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler and were somewhat more likely to have taken a trip to Canada (19.6% versus 14.6%). The most common destination was Ontario, however Boaters and Swimmers are over-represented among U.S. Pleasure Travelers to all Canadian provinces and territories.

Boaters and Swimmers were much more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to engage in a wide range of outdoor activities while on trips in the past two years. They were particularly likely to participate in other water-based activities (e.g., hiking, climbing and paddling; sailing and surfing; scuba and snorkelling), sportsmen activities (e.g., fishing; hunting) and winter activities (e.g., downhill skiing and snowboarding; snowmobiling and ATVing). Boaters and Swimmers tend to stay at public campgrounds, or at lakeside or riverside resorts when on a trip. They are also more likely than average to have taken a sightseeing cruise, lake or river cruise or a Great Lakes cruise. Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, Boaters and Swimmers are more likely to go shopping and dining and to visit theme parks and exhibits, historical sites, and fairs and festivals. Boaters and Swimmers tend to seek family-oriented vacations that allow them to enrich family relationships and provide lots of things to see and do for both adults and children.

Most Boaters and Swimmers use the Internet for trip planning (76.6%) and have booked trip components online (54.8%) in the past two years. They are more likely than average to consult official tourism guides and visitor centres. This segment can be targeted most effectively through travel-related websites and magazines and specialty magazines (e.g., outdoor activity and sports, photography and video, family and parenting).