Travel activities and motivations survey — Canadian travel market

Outdoor Activities While on Trips of One or More Nights

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Overview Report

February 29, 2008
Executive Summary

Over the last two years, 61.6% (15,269,616) of adult Canadians participated in outdoor activities while on an out-of-town pleasure trip of one or more nights. This represents 82.8% of the Canadian Pleasure Travelers (i.e., those who took at least one pleasure trip in the past two years). As the number of outdoor activity types participated in increases, travelers are progressively more likely to be male, younger and better-educated and to have higher household incomes. They are also more likely to live in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan than elsewhere in Canada.

Travel and the Number of Outdoor Activities

There was a strong association between the number of outdoor activity types participated in and the likelihood that the respondent traveled to destinations in Canada in the past two years. Those who participated in a larger number of outdoor activities were especially likely to have taken trips to Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Northern Territories (i.e., the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut).

As the number of outdoor activities pursued while on trips increases, there is a corresponding increase in the number of outdoor activities undertaken while not traveling. Those more active in outdoor activities were also more likely to have participated in culture and entertainment activities while on trips. Those highly active in outdoor activities were especially likely to take part in participatory, cultural experiences (e.g., participatory historical activities) and to have attended sporting events (e.g., professional sports), live art performances and festivals (e.g., musical festivals). There was also a strong association between the number of outdoor activities participated in while on trips and the number of tours and cruises taken during the past two years.

Those who are very active in a wide range of outdoor activities while traveling consider it important that they are physically challenged while on vacation. They are also more likely to seek vacations that are intellectually stimulating, provide learning opportunities and offer novelty. By contrast, those who participated in relatively few outdoor activities while on trips are more likely to pursue vacations that allow them to be pampered, renew personal connections with friends and keep family ties alive.

Travelers who are very active in a wide range of outdoor activities are much more likely to use the Internet to plan and book trips. For example, 74.3% of those who participated in six or more types of outdoor activities used the Internet to plan or book travel, while only 39.9% of those who did not participate in outdoor activities used the Internet to plan travel.