CTC News

UK continued to suffer from global economic meltdown in 2011.

CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report shows that the lingering effects of the downturn hit outbound tourism again.


08 February 2012

The UK economy has taken some serious body blows since the onset of the global economic recession, and its effects were still rippling through Brit consumers’ lives last year. The Global Tourism Watch (GTW) UK summary report, newly minted by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), pulls no punches either in its analysis of CTC’s largest overseas market and its prospects for the next two years.

Some key findings:

  • Several factors are weighing heavily on the UK market. Increased VAT, high inflation, stringent austerity measures and a weak pound created a difficult year for consumers and their bank balances.
  • If that wasn’t enough, political unrest in the Middle East and rising air travel and fuel prices have also dampened demand for long-haul pleasure travel.
  • The overall two-year outlook for Canada is proving remarkably resilient, with 23% of long-haul travellers saying they will definitely or are very likely to visit, basically the same level since 2008.
  • For those travellers, British Columbia (77%) andOntario (73%) head the list of popular provinces, with Quebec (46%) and Alberta (44%) further down the list.
  • Although Canada got a sharp boost from the 2010 Winter Games in terms of top-of-mind awareness in the UK market, that gain proved to be short-lived, falling back to 23% in 2011.
  • Brits are even more conscious of the value of the pound in their pockets: a strong loonie squashing a weak sterling makes Canada seem a relatively pricey place to go.
  • Nature and culture rule the roost as favourite holiday pursuits for UK travellers. However, outdoor products are still not catching their imagination, despite them being some of Canada’s biggest attractions.
  • The top source of travel info in the UK market is word-of-mouth, closely followed by travel shows on TV. Online media—apart from travel/destination websites—still doesn’t cut the mustard as a way for travellers to research their next trips.

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 2011 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2007.

Read the Global Tourism Watch UK 2011 summary report.


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