CTC News

Canadians rediscovered their appetite for travel in 2010.

Desire to get out and about was fired by a strong loonie and pent-up demand after the recession, says latest CTC Global Tourism Watch report.

07 August 2011

It was time to hit the road in Canada in 2010. Recovering from the economic buffeting from 2009’s recession and boosted by a powerful loonie, Canadians started to travel en masse again, reports the latest Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary published by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). However, as the year wore on, the domestic jobless rate began to climb once more and the housing market stalled, thus taking the wind out of consumer confidence.

Some other key findings:

  • Some of the barriers for out-of-region travel diminished in 2010. High unemployment rates, a poor economy, affordability and unfavourable exchange rates all lost some of their sting.

  • LOCALS KNOW, CTC’s domestic marketing program, gathered steam in 2010 and made a real impact in the marketplace.

  • Safety issues around terrorism and potential international conflicts in Mexico, North Korea and the Middle East became increasingly paramount, which could lead to more Canadians taking their trips at home.

  • Quality remains an issue: fewer than 40% of out-of-region Canadian travellers believed that Canada is worth paying a little extra for. Airfares and package prices were the key issues, with Canucks rating Canada far worse on these attributes than travellers from the US or Mexico.

  • Active outdoor activities are gaining in popularity among Canadians, which is a real potential boost for domestic travel given Canada’s fantastic experiences outdoors all year round.

  • Canada remains the top contender among Canadian travellers for three of CTC’s “Unique Selling Propositions” (USPs) for this country: personal journeys by land, water and air, active adventure among awe-inspiring natural wonders and vibrant cities on the edge of nature.

Harris/Decima Research conducts the Global Tourism Watch survey for CTC. The company asks thousands of participants aged 18 and over from around the world for their views on Canada and CTC’s Canada. Keep Exploring tourism brand. The sample was split evenly across six regions: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The 2010 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2007.

Read the Global Tourism Watch Canada 2010 summary report.

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Hi Peggy

Our role at the CTC is to promote Canada to international travellers, generating tourism export revenues. So we leave marketing Canadian tourism experiences to Canadians to the provinces, territories and the private sector. They champion our country.

The best thing for you to do would be to get in touch (if you've not already done so) with Tourism BC, as by your question it sounds like you're from that part of the country. Working closely with your provincial marketing organization should help build your understanding of what domestic marketing opportunities are out there.

However, I should note here too that international travellers tend to stay longer and spend more so they are important for future growth of the industry.

Hope that helps.

best, Mat

So who IS selling Canada to Canadians??? This is a question I have been asking for some time now and I don't seem to be getting any answers. It's very frustrating. How & where is the marketing being done? We can't seem to get an insight into the Canadian markets. Over 95% of our clientel is International (Europe, UK, Australia, NZ, etc). How do we effectively reach the Canadian markets? I would appreciate some feedback on this. Thanks.

As Canadians we take what we have in Canada for granted. We don't appreciate or understand the value, beauty and uniqueness of what we have and how special it is. And we don't protect it enough. Those countries who have lost their natural forests, wildlife, and natural spaces are constantly pointing out how special what we (British Columbia and Canada) have is.

Peggy Zorn