“Canadians are not Americans.”
That might seem blindingly obvious to readers of CTP but it was the key takeaway from a study of Canadian travel-buying habits outlined to a predominantly American audience of travel marketers at the recent Destinations International annual congress in Montreal, reports Quebec editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
The presentation, entitled “Capturing the Canadian Consumer,” was delivered by Karyl Leigh Barnes, a partner with Development Counsellors International (DCI), following a nationwide survey of more than 1,500 respondents 18 and over, who had taken at least one international trip in the previous 12 months.
Some 30% of those surveyed reported annual income in excess of $200,000.
Barnes told delegates that Canadians are more likely than their American neighbours to travel internationally; they prioritize travelling internationally with family and they use ‘third party’ sources to inspire and plan trips more than family and friend recommendations.
And she pointed out that every Canadian segment is “unique.”
Those making $200K a year are more likely to use a travel agent; those 45 and older place much higher value on the friendliness and hospitality of locals, while millennials are more likely to select a destination that plays back well on social media.
In terms of their buying preferences, the survey showed that about 35% book directly with their service provider, almost 30% use an online travel agency and one quarter go through a bricks and mortar retail outlet. About 5% said they would book directly with a tour operator.
Fully half of those surveyed said their trips were for family vacations. Beach vacations were the lure for 30%, followed in diminishing volumes by romantic getaways, celebration vacations, cruises and city breaks.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.