Quebecers stay home, Maritimers/Prairie types wander: A look at Canada travel
Thanks to the folks at Travelzoo for an interesting study on Canadian travel habits.
The company did a study with Environics and found that 43 per cent of Canadian residents mostly travel/vacation within their own province. Sounds about right, but what was interesting was the provincial breakdown. A solid 53.2 per cent of Quebeckers said they like to stay home, which makes sense given the language issue, not to mention the number of summer and winter attractions in Quebec City, Montreal and up and down the St. Lawrence, not to mention Tremblant.
Next most likely to stick around their home province were folks in British Columbia, where 44.2 per cent said that was their preference. Again, with so many great beaches and wineries (see photo of the stunning view from the patio restaurant at Mission Hill near Kelowna) and lakes and oceanfront and mountains, it makes sense for them to stay close to the old homestead.
In Ontario, where we're pretty blessed with travel opportunities as well, 42 per cent of respondents said they mostly travel or vacation in their home province. That dropped to 38.1 per cent in Atlantic Canada, and to 33.4 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. For all their talk about Alberta being number one, the study found that just 30.4 per cent of folks in Wild Rose Country like to stay home for holidays. Maybe they simply want to go to the beach. Or maybe they all have so much damned money that they can fly to Nova Scotia for a lobster supper any time they want, I don't know. But it's kinda fun to look at.
Eight in ten Canadians said they feel it's important to see all of Canada. But on average they've visited only four provinces/territories outside their own. 75 per cent of Canucks have visited Ontario, while 67 per cent have seen Quebec and 57 per cent British Columbia. Since Ontario has the most population and a lot of us stay home for vacation, that number only makes sense.
Respondents were asked to name the areas of Canada they'd want to visit if time and money weren't an obstacle, and they were able to name more than one area. Almost 49 per cent of respondents ticked off British Columbia as a place they'd want to visit, followed by Newfoundland (see photo below right) with a 37.2 per cent response rate and PEI right behind at 37.1, followed by Nova Scotia at 34.5 per cent.
New Brunswick was mentioned as a top spot by 26.7 per cent of respondents, while Quebec was at 21.5 per cent, Alberta at 21.3 per cent and the Yukon at 20.2. Poor Ontario was down at 16.6 per cent, followed by the Northwest Territories at 15.6 per cent, Nunavut at 13.2 per cent, Manitoba 9.9 per cent and Saskatchewan at 8.9 per cent.
I've never been to the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Nunavut, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. Based on what I know, I'd probably put Saskatchewan near the top of my "next to do" list, partly because I hear great things about the Dakota Dunes golf course and because I suspect there's a lot more in Saskatchewan than Canadians might think.
In another study that crossed my messy desk today, this one by the GfK Association/Wall Street Journal, I see that some 50 per cent of Europeans and a huge 80 per cent of Americans list their own country as their preferred travel destination. The US is so huge that that isn't surprising. The Europe figure probably makes sense, in that it's so easy to go from one country to another because of both geography and the Euro/passport situation.
Asked if they'd be staying at home this year or taking a holiday, a whopping 71 per cent of folks in Bulgaria (must be tough times) said they'd stay home, compared to 70 per cent of Romanians and 65 per cent of Hungarians. Only 30 per cent of folks in the Czech Republic said they'd do nothing and stay at home, however. Sweden? They're getting the hell out as far as I can tell, as only 13 per cent of Swedes plan to stay home.
It's also interesting to note how different folks around the world are in terms of their desired type of holiday. Fifty eight per cent of Europeans said relaxation is high on their list, compared to just 10 per cent of go-go Americans (sadly there was no mention of Canadian habits, which is not uncommon in these big surveys; we may be hosting the G20 but we don't merit much attention up here most of the time). Twenty five per cent of Americans said they prefer to visit friends and relatives, while 16 per cent want to play sports and 15 per cent have fun in clubs and discos.
While 25 per cent of Americans said they want to visit friends and relatives, only 17 per cent of Europeans felt that way. Maybe they don't have nice friends...or perhaps they simply don't want to squeeze into a tiny, non-air-conditioned apartment together in Rome this summer.
As for sports, 43 per cent of Turks said they want to indulge in sporting activities on holidays, and who knew?
It also appears the Americans and Brits are the big spenders. Some 18 per cent of Americans and 16 per cent of UK respondents said they planned to spend more than $2,472 U.S. on a holiday, compared to only 1 per cent of folks from Portugal.