Travel Activities and Motivations Survey

Loyalty Segmentation of the Canadian Travel Market

Full report available in pdf format

TAMS 2006

Ontario Report

With respect to source markets, there is one clear focal point for Ontario when it comes to protecting travel volume generated among Canadians — specifically, the retention of frequency and interest among Ontario residents. The domestic (Ontario) market represents the largest pool of travellers in Canada and is also one in which the Ontario brand competes reasonably effectively.

The main challenge is to encourage continued regular travel within Ontario among those currently uncommitted to doing so. How is this to be accomplished? The findings in this report point to a number of possibilities with potential for success.

  1. From a targeting perspective, cater to the more youthful nature of Uncommitted domestic travellers with some emphasis on sports and participatory activities that challenge the body and mind.
  2. Impress them with Ontario's growing strengths on the cultural dimension:
    1. Art;
    2. Architecture;
    3. Museums;
    4. Historic sites and exhibits.
  3. Invite positive comparisons with BC, the Atlantic Provinces and California.
  4. Don't shy away from presenting more remote locations within the province, since ease of access is less of an issue within the Uncommitted segment.

Beyond the Ontario source market, Quebec represents the biggest opportunity "on paper". However, this possible source of increased tourism volume presents a number of unique challenges as well. Ontario has had difficulty establishing any degree of commitment in this province among those who have visited recently. Moreover, evidence suggests that Uncommitted past visitors will be extremely difficult to motivate sufficiently to encourage repeat visitation in large numbers. Open Non-Visitors, on the other hand, are not especially attractive as potential visitors to the province. Their travel interests are limited and their socio-economic status is below average.

All of this suggests a need to review the Quebec strategy and investment in that province.

Western Canada possibly represents the greatest growth opportunity with respect to attracting "new" visitors. The pool of Open Non-Visitors is reasonably large in the West, and there are significant opportunities to leverage VFR. However, it should be acknowledged that the long-haul nature of the trip to Ontario represents a potential barrier. It is also likely the case that Western Canadians open to the idea of vacationing in Ontario are likely difficult (expensive) to reach since they are spread among the large numbers of Westerners adamantly opposed to visiting Central Canada. Still, marketing efforts directed to key urban centres might yield some success (Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver).

If there is a sense among Ontario marketers that Westerners are uniformly intransigent, there is sufficient evidence in this study to counter that position. Moreover, positive tourism messages may represent a means of easing tensions that do exist and reintroducing Central Canada to Western Canadians in a positive light. The absence of communication has a tendency to harden negative misperceptions.