CTC News

US market shows signs of renewed interest in international travel in 2011.

Latest CTC Global Tourism Watch report for the US spotlights uneven economic growth and fluctuating consumer confidence.

30 November 2011

The times, they are a-changing in the US market. The economy is sputtering back into life, but lingering anxiety about the future is still giving consumer confidence the jitters, according to the latest Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary for the US published by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).

Some other key takeaways:

  • Although 2010 signed off with a strong fourth quarter, US economic growth stumbled again in the early months of 2011 as the GTW fieldwork was underway.
  • Pleasure travel ticked more boxes among US international travellers, with 88% considering it important (or somewhat so), up 3% over 2009.
  • Americans aren’t so keen on taking a short break (one to three nights) or a longer vacation to Canada, with only 30% and 28% respectively getting itchy feet to head north.
  • However, Canada’s losses may be due to a resurgence of interest in travel to European destinations.
  • Ontario is back as top dog destination for US visitors, knocking British Columbia back into second place.
  • Television travel shows are the best way to influence American hearts and minds, reaching more than one in five potential travellers. TV advertising, word of mouth and articles in both travel magazines and websites complete the top five sources of information on Canada.
  • Canada’s main challenge in this market is still poor awareness. Our country ranks sixth in terms of unaided awareness, disappointing considering we are next-door neighbours.
  • The mid-haul travel market could prove fruitful in the US, with this segment showing revived interest in headed north across the 49th parallel.
  • Americans are growing keener on getting into the great outdoors and being active. Water-based journeys or winter activities are becoming a bigger draw for US visitors as opposed to more passive nature-viewing.
  • An army—and travellers apparently—march on their stomachs. Culinary learning is growing as a catalyst for travelling to Canada.

Harris/Decima Research conducts the Global Tourism Watchsurvey 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 US 2011 summary report.

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