alberta regional economic development conference may 12 14 2009
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Alberta Regional Economic Development Conference – May 12 – 14, 2009

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Alberta Regional Economic Development Conference – May 12 – 14, 2009. “Sustaining Progress in a Transitioning Economy” Discussion Panel: Tourism Product Development – Morning May 14 th Louise McGillivray Executive Director Tourism Development. Travellers to Alberta.

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alberta regional economic development conference may 12 14 2009
Alberta Regional Economic Development Conference – May 12 – 14, 2009

“Sustaining Progress in a Transitioning Economy”

Discussion Panel:

Tourism Product Development – Morning May 14th

Louise McGillivray

Executive Director

Tourism Development


Travellers to Alberta

Visitors from domestic locations are same-day and overnight visits, while visitors from international locations are overnight visits.

travel activities and motivation survey tams
Travel Activities and Motivation Survey (TAMS)
  • Survey conducted in 2006 of Canadians and Americans - regarding the activities that motivate travel, the activities that they take part in while travelling, their perceptions of different travel locations, and their media habits.

Activity Based Sectors for Canadian Tourists (TAMS Research)

  • Cultural Tourists
  • Fairs and Festivals Tourists
  • Hikers, Climbers and Paddlers
  • Archaeological and Palaeontological Tourists
  • Aboriginal Culture Tourists

Cultural Tourists

  • Well-known historic sites/buildings are the most popular (main reason for trip for 44%)
  • General history museums, and other historic sites and monuments
  • Tend to be well educated, higher income (1/3 have university degree and household incomes of at least $100K)
  • Also utilize culinary and retail infrastructure
  • Stiff competition from BC

Cultural Tourists

  • Cultural tourists place emphasis on cultural activities but do like to take other trips for other activities such as soft outdoor, resort or lodge experiences.
  • Cultural tourists want to return from their trip feeling like they have seen and done something new and different and that the destination offers many things to see and do (emphasize the uniqueness and density of activities).
  • 813,000 adult pleasure travellers in BC, AB, SK, MB are cultural tourists

Festivals and Fairs Tourists

  • Exhibitions or fairs most popular (33%)
  • Music festivals (22%), fireworks (19%)
  • Include religious festivals, carnivals, food/drink festivals and ethnic festivals in their trips
  • Most have mid-level incomes ($40 – 100K)
  • Most usually travel locally, domestically
  • 861,000 Canadian adults who reside in BC, AB, SK and MB took overnight trips in order to go to a festival or fair.

Festivals and Fairs Tourists

  • Package Alberta’s fairs and festivals with seasonally appropriate outdoor activities such as day hikes, wildlife viewing – these tourists prefer to observe rather than interact with nature
  • Festivals and Fairs tourists want to return home feeling relaxed and stress free (promote hassle-free vacations).

Hikers, Climbers and Paddlers

  • Focus on the variety of outdoor experiences that is offered within Alberta, especially hiking and kayaking/canoeing.
  • Also interested in camping, visiting nature parks, sunbathing or sitting on a beach and alpine skiing
  • They do not bring as much enthusiasm to other activities such as cultural and entertainment pursuits as they do to outdoor activities, but do participate.
  • 687,000 W. Canadian pleasure travellers are in this category.

Aboriginal Culture Tourists

  • Aboriginal tourists enjoy going to heritage attractions and experiences in rural settings.
  • Many are international travellers
  • 189,000 adults from W. Canada took trips motivated by Aboriginal culture, and 78% claim to have travelled to AB over the past decade
  • “Outdoor” experiences also of interest to Aboriginal culture tourists

Archaeological and Palaeontological Tourists

  • Archaeological tourists are a niche market.
  • Want to visit the site not necessarily participate in the dig.
  • Long-haul archaeological tourists are interested in the educational benefits.
  • 185,000 W. Canadian adult pleasure travellers are interested in these experiences and 91% of them claim to have visited AB over past decade

Bottom Line

  • Tourists (Albertans and others) travel throughout AB and spend money in our communities
  • Tourists want what your community/region already has or could develop
  • Tourism products (events, festivals, attractions, activities) that are a good fit for your community and region, can create economic benefits and enhance the quality of life for residents.