Travel Activities and Motivations Survey

Out-of-Country Travel by Canadians

Full report available in pdf format

Canadian Travel Market

A Profile Report — January 24, 2008

Executive summary

Over the last two years, 53.0% (13,139,283) of adult Canadians took an out-of-country, overnight trip (for any purpose). 90.4% (11,872,817) of those who took a trip outside of Canada report that they took at least one out-of-country, pleasure trip during the past two years. Those from Ontario and British Columbia were the most likely to have taken a pleasure trip outside of Canada while those from the Atlantic Region and Saskatchewan were the least likely to have traveled to other countries during the last two years. 91.9% of those who took a trip outside-of-the-country also took a trip within Canada during the last two years. 82.8% took a trip within their own province, 50.4% took a trip to an adjacent province and 34.3% took a trip to a non-adjacent province. Out-of-country travelers were actually more likely to have traveled to other provinces than those who only traveled in Canada during the last two years. In terms of out-of-country travel, Canadians primarily took trips to the United States (50.7%). 12.4% took a trip to Mexico, 15.6% traveled to the Caribbean and 20.6% took a trip to an overseas destination.

Canadians who took a pleasure trip outside of Canada are more likely to have a university degree (37.1%) than those who only traveled within Canada (19.2%) and report higher average household incomes ($79,516 vs. $60,535). Out-of-country travelers are somewhat over-represented among affluent, young couples and mature couples and somewhat under-represented among young families with children under 12.

Canadians who traveled outside of Canada are much more likely to participate in culture and entertainment pursuits while on trips than those who only took trips within Canada. They were especially likely to have attended live art performances and to have visited educational attractions (e.g., historical sites, museums and art galleries) while on trips. Out-of-Country Travelers were also more active in outdoor activities and especially warm-weather, resort-based activities (e.g., sailing and surfing, sun bathing), more strenuous activities (e.g., downhill skiing, exercising & jogging) and golfing. By contrast, those who only took pleasure trips within Canada were more likely to go hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and ATVing while on trips. Those who took trips outside of Canada prefer destinations that have a distinctive culture and provide intellectual stimulation and novelty. Those who only traveled within Canada prefer vacations that have a familiar culture, budget accommodation or camping and lots for children to see and do.

Canadians who traveled to other countries are above-average users of the Internet to plan (69.1%) and book (47.0%) travel and above-average consumers of travel media. Out-of-country travelers may also be effectively reached through city lifestyle magazines, business, finance and investing magazines and news and current events media. Those who only traveled within Canada are more likely to read home-oriented magazines, to watch daytime television and listen to country music radio stations.