Canada report offres insight to Aussie travellers
A staggering 2.67 million Australian travellers are definitely or very likely to visit Canada in the next two years, according to Destination Canada’s 2017 Global Tourism Watch (GTW) results, released in July 2018.
This represents an increase of five per cent since 2016, with visitation from Australia ranked sixth among Canada’s international markets in 2017.
“This means Canada is doing a great job converting Australians who may be in the ‘dreaming and planning’ stage into actual travellers who visit Canada,” says Donna Campbell, Managing Director, Destination Canada GSA.
Canada attracted 375,000 visitors from Australia in 2017, an increase from 333,000 in 2016 (12.6 per cent).
Canada’s western provinces continue to hold the greatest appeal for Australian travellers, with Ontario and Quebec also proving to be popular destinations. A total of 73 per cent of our potential market intends to visit British Columbia, followed closely by Ontario at 63 per cent. Alberta (48 per cent) and Quebec (43 per cent) rank third and fourth respectively.
Breaking it down further, Toronto (53 per cent) and Niagara Falls (51 per cent) are the top destinations across all provinces. However, when potential visitors were asked to identify one Canadian destination of greatest appeal, 21 per cent chose the Rocky Mountains, followed by Niagara Falls (18 per cent), Vancouver (13 per cent) and Toronto (10 per cent).
“For the first time, St John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, saw an increase in appeal, which indicates Australians are becoming more knowledgeable about lesser-known cities and provinces,” says Donna.
When asked what kind of activities are important enough to base an entire trip around, natural attractions ranked first (29 per cent), with northern lights (27 per cent), cruises (22 per cent), historical sites (21 per cent), and local food and wine (20 per cent) making up the top five.
“The chance to sample local cuisine and wine is now the ‘most sought-after holiday experience’ for Australian visitors to Canada, with natural attractions ranking second, followed by wildlife viewing, national parks, historical sights, and the northern lights,” says Donna.
“This tells us that Australian travellers want to immerse themselves in a destination, relish locally produced gastronomy, and participate in genuine ‘live-like-a-local’ experiences.”
Consumers’ destination knowledge of Canada has once again increased, up three per cent since 2016, and of the top 12 countries Australians are likely to visit, Canada now ranks fourth behind the US, UK and Japan.
“We are noticing a shift in perceptions of Canada, with Australian travellers now exploring beyond Canada’s western provinces, seeking authentic experiences steeped in culture, wildlife, and outdoor adventure right across the country, in all seasons,” says Donna.
Young travellers aged 25 – 34 and those aged 55+ are most likely to be planning a trip to Canada, however, Australians aged 55+ perceive fewer barriers to travelling and are most likely to say nothing will stop them from visiting Canada.
A total of 67 per cent of Australian visitors to Canada consulted a travel agent or tour operator during 2017, as well as carrying out their own destinational research.