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

Hiking, Climbing and Paddling While on Trips of One or More Nights

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A Profile Report — April 24, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 18.1% (40,009,742) of adult Americans went hiking, climbing or paddling (i.e., sameday hiking excursion, freshwater kayaking or canoeing, overnight hiking or backpacking in wilderness areas, white-water rafting, mountain climbing or trekking, rock climbing, wilderness skills course, ice climbing) while on an out-of-town overnight trip or one or more nights. A sameday hiking excursion was the most popular activity in this activity segment (13.3% of adult Americans). 35.1% (14,055,755) of Hikers, Climbers and Paddlers reported that these activities were the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

Hikers, Climbers and Paddlers are well represented among both women and men, 18 to 54 years of age, and married. Their household income and education levels are above-average. They are over-represented in Alaska and the Mountain, Pacific and New England regions of the United States, and are more likely to live in large cities with populations of 2 million or more.

Hikers, Climbers and Paddlers were more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to take a trip to Canada in the past two years, and especially to Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, they were also more likely to have taken a trip to Alberta.

A consistent theme in the vacation activities of Hikers, Climbers and Paddlers while on trips in the past two years was ‘getting close to nature'. This segment was much more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to pursue a full range of outdoor activities while on trips, and especially nature-oriented activities (e.g., wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, horseback riding). Similarly, they were more likely than average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to participate in culture and entertainment activities with a nature theme (e.g., archaeological sites and digs, aboriginal cultural experiences, garden theme attractions, agro-tourism). They were also more likely than average to stay in public campgrounds when on a trip, and to have taken tours and cruises.

Most Hikers, Campers and Paddlers use the Internet to plan their trips and the large majority (60.8%) book travel online. Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, they are much more likely to obtain information from travel guide books, official government travel guides and visitor information centres. The most effective media for reaching this segment includes nature and science magazines and television programs and travel-related websites, magazines and television programs.