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

U.S. Travelers to Ontario

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — January 24, 2008

Executive summary

Over the last two years, 8.2% of adult Americans (14,067,041) took an overnight to Ontario. This represents 6.4% of the U.S. Pleasure Travelers. 32.2% of the U.S. Pleasure Travelers who visited Ontario took two or more pleasure trips to Ontario in the last two years. Ontario was by far the most frequently visited Canadian destination by U.S. Pleasure Travelers during the last two years.

Ontario visitors are most likely to live in a border state such as Michigan, New York and Wisconsin or nearby states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Vermont. As expected, the likelihood of a visit to Ontario declines as the distance from Ontario increases. Ontario visitors are also over-represented among those living in larger urban centers.

Those who took a trip to Ontario in the last two years are predominantly married and over-represented among those 55 and older. They are more affluent than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler and more likely to have post-secondary education (68.0% versus 58.2% for the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler). They also have above-average household incomes ($87,150 versus $74,303 for the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler). Accordingly, Ontario visitors are over-represented among affluent, mature couples.

Those who visited Ontario are much more likely than other U.S. Travelers to have attended theatre, film and music festivals, high art performances and professional sporting events while on trips. They are also more likely to have taken part in participatory cultural activities (e.g., participatory historical activities, aboriginal cultural experiences, archaeological digs and sites) while traveling. They were more than twice as likely to have skied (e.g., cross-country skiing, downhill skiing) and more likely than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler to have gone golfing, horseback riding, sailing and surfing and cycling while on trips. They prefer luxury accommodation and fine cuisine. They were also more likely to have taken winery tours, city tours and cruises on the St. Lawrence River or Great Lakes during the past two years.

Ontario visitors prefer intellectually stimulating vacations that offer opportunities to learn, a distinctive culture and novelty. This indicates that Ontario should promote its cultural distinctiveness to the American marketplace.

Those who visited Ontario are above-average users of the Internet to research (76.5%) and book travel (57.0%). They are also above-average consumers of travel media. They may be most effectively targeted though intellectual television programs (i.e., history, biography, science and nature), news and current events programming and business, finance and investment magazines. They may also be effectively reached through classical music, multicultural, jazz / big band and all sports radio stations.