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Perceptions of U.S. Travelers about Canada and Its Tourism Marketing. May 13, 2014 Quebec Tourism Industry Association . Presented by: John DiStefano Sr. Director, Research PhoCusWright Inc. . Today’s Topics. Marketing vacationing in Canada to the U.S.

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perceptions of u s travelers about canada and its tourism marketing

Perceptions of U.S. Travelers about Canada and Its Tourism Marketing

May 13, 2014 Quebec Tourism Industry Association

Presented by:

John DiStefano

Sr. Director, Research

PhoCusWright Inc.

today s topics
Today’s Topics
  • Marketing vacationing in Canada to the U.S.
  • Communication strategy for Canada
  • Vacation consideration set
  • Value proposition of Canada
  • Ad recall
  • Information channels to convert “dreaming about Canada” to book a vacation in Canada
methodology
Methodology

Source: PhoCusWright Inc.

PhoCusWright fielded an online survey between February 14, 2014 and March 4, 2014 through Survey Sampling Inc.’s U.S. consumer sample.

The survey targeted leisure travelers in the U.S.

Respondents were invited to participate in the survey via a link which directed them to an online survey instrument

Confidence Interval: 99.6%Margin of Error: 1.9%

which of the following if any have you done for yourself in the past two years since january 2012
Which of the following, if any, have you done for yourself in the past two years (since January 2012)?

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

slide6
What was the primary purpose of the trip(s) associated with the previous question? Check all that apply.

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

100 currently hold a valid passport passport card edl or trusted traveler program card
100% currently hold a valid passport, passport card, EDL or Trusted Traveler Program card

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

who played an active role in planning your travel over the past two years since january 2012
Who played an active role in planning your travel over the past two years (since January 2012)?

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

geographical distribution
Geographical Distribution

Tier One

California 1,200

Tri-State Area + Philadelphia 900

New England 500

  • Tier Two
  • Washington D.C. 300
  • Illinois 500
  • Florida, Texas 900Georgia
  • Tier Three
  • Upstate NY 1,000
  • Ohio, Pennsylvania
  • Michigan, Minnesota(under weighted),
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington State500
  • Oregon

TOTAL: Approximately 5,800

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

highlights
Highlights
  • Canada is top of mind for 7% of Americans planning vacations
    • Exceeds Disney World (2%) by more than a factor of three and compares favorably with New York (8%).
    • Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are top destinations.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

A Subset of Americans Plan Canada Vacations; Cities First

demand for vacation in canada vs u s destinations
Demand for Vacation in Canada vs. U.S. Destinations

LAS VEGAS

FLORIDA

NEW YORK CITY

CANADA

DISNEY

  • Domestic and international leisure travel have an aggregate incidence of 81% and 54%, respectively.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

The top of mind (unaided) incidence for vacationing in Canada among American leisure travelers is 7% (Tier I: 7%; Tier II: 6%; Tier III: 9%)

  • This is marginally behind New York City (8%) and a factor of three times ahead of Disney World (2%).
  • This falls significantly behind Florida and Las Vegas, both enjoying a 15% top of mind score.
indicators of pent up demand
Indicators of Pent-Up Demand

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Actual travel to Canada is 3%, while the “wish list” for vacationing in Canada scores 7%

  • This can be accounted for, in part, by the gap between desire and action. It may also indicate pent-up demand that will respond to advertising and, therefore, convert to vacation activity.

Canada is accessible

  • Almost half (49%) of those considering a vacation in Canada report that traveling to Canada is easy. This is corroborated by the lack of negative bias associated with travel difficulty.
highlights1
Highlights
  • Previous vacation experience a good indicator of future interest
    • Vacationers exhibiting a top of mind awareness are more than five times more likely to have vacationed in Canada before.
  • For almost half considering travel to Canada, the trip is viewed as easy. Moreover, vacationing to Canada by car greatly increases its appeal.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

A Subset of Americans Plan Canada Vacations; The Loyalty Effect

familiarity is key but provinces territories score low
Familiarity is Key; but Provinces/Territories Score Low

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

A loyalty effect?

  • There’s top of mind presence among those who have already vacationed in Canada.
  • Those who demonstrate top of mind awareness for vacationing in Canada are almost five times more likely (14% vs. 3%) as their counterparts to have taken a Canada vacation.
  • And 67% of those with top of mind awareness for travel to Canada have vacationed in Canada in the last 10 years.

A minority recognize provinces/territories

  • The identity of the Canadian vacation centers on “cities and attractions” (76%), whereas only a small minority (25%) think about vacationing in Canada in terms of “provinces and territories”.
demand for vacation canada top three cities
Demand for Vacation Canada: Top Three Cities

Question: When considering a vacation to Canada, what are your top three destinations?

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079); Next leisure trip Canada (N=434)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

In top of mind appeal, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are in high demand, scoring at the top of the list of cities, while Niagara Falls and Québec lead the second tier.

Ontario, Banff and Victoria comprise a third tier, while all other destinations trail behind.

highlights2
Highlights
  • It is closer than the Alps
    • The brand of vacationing in Canada is most closely associated with “Natural wonders,” “Friendly,” and “Value for money.”

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Branding and Value Proposition: Beauty and Value

highlights3
Highlights
  • Emphasize nature and beauty
    • “Natural beauty,” “Majestic views,” and “Abundance of snow” are top messages associated with vacationing in Canada.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Messaging: Urban Sophistication Missed

highlights4
Highlights
  • But there is omission of key attributes
    • Brand attributes that should be prioritized (i.e., reframed) are “Warm and sunny” and “World-Class attractions.”

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Branding and Value Proposition: Fighting the Cold

highlights5
Highlights
  • But also promote urban appeal and sophistication
    • Urban pursuits – such as “World-class cuisine” or “Lively arts scene” – score last in the mind of vacationers to Canada.
  • However, the qualities of cities are enhanced from prior vacations. The more you experience Canada, the more you appreciate the urban/city aspects. This needs to be reinforced.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Messaging: Urban Sophistication Missed

highlights6
Highlights
  • Cold weather bias must be broken
    • A negative bias exists that vacationing in Canada is “too cold.”
  • It is vital to re-position cold weather perception into a positive.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Branding and Value Proposition: Fighting the Cold

branding and value proposition appealing attributes
Branding and Value Proposition: Appealing Attributes

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Top ranked value proposition for appeal of Canada: “Natural wonders,” “Friendly” and “Value for money.”.

This is repeated in the top themes for visiting Canada: Communications/Advertising and Top Activities. These themes are repeated across Tiers I, II and III.

branding and value proposition appealing attributes1
Branding and Value Proposition: Appealing Attributes

Base: Next leisure trip Canada (N=434)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

“Warm & sunny” and “World-class attractions” are most important.

branding and value proposition opportunities
Branding and Value Proposition: Opportunities

Base: Next leisure trip Canada (N=434)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

For all travelers, climate – too cold (28%) – is the #1 reason not to visit Canada.

The concern for the cold declines (21%) for those planning to visit Canada.

branding and value proposition opportunities1
Branding and Value Proposition: Opportunities

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

More so for those who plan to visit Canada, the negative perception of a vacation in Canada as cold needs to be reframed.

messaging
Messaging

Question: Which of the following themes makes you most interested in a vacation in Canada?

Base: U.S. leisure travelers (N=6,079)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Non-urban attributes score highest

  • Though cities are popular, natural beauty and majestic views are valued over urban activities. This theme is consistent across Tiers I, II and III.
messaging1
Messaging

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Natural beauty and majestic views are underscored in the ad recall for vacation in Canada.

Urban and cultural activities are noticeably absent.

messaging2
Messaging

Base: Next leisure trip Canada (N=434)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Multiple destinations

  • Visitors vacationing in Canada are more likely to visit multiple destinations (67%) than one location (33%). This suggests that the provinces need to coordinate their efforts to support synergy.
messaging3
Messaging

Base: Next leisure trip Canada (N=434)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

It’s easy

  • Travel to Canada “is easy” for a trip of five nights or longer according to nearly half of visitors (49%).
messaging4
Messaging

Base: Next leisure trip Canada (N=434)

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Interest in restaurant offers

  • Interest in promotional offers is strongest for restaurants (21%), followed by historical sites (19%) and festivals (15%).
messaging5
Messaging

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Ad recall low

  • Only 22% of travelers recall an ad for vacationing in Canada.
  • For those who recall an ad, the “destination” (46%) and “imagery” (41%) are top ranked, whereas “attraction/activity” (27%) ranks a distant third.
  • The “offer” garners only 5%, underscoring the weak appeal of offer-driven advertising. The research demonstrates that the call to action needs to be based more on inspiration (i.e., destination or imagery) rather than a booking action.
highlights7
Highlights
  • Word of mouth remains top influencer
    • Personal recommendations, search engines and travel sites account for the top three influencers in the travel life cycle.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Information Sources and Booking

information sources and booking
Information Sources and Booking
  • These findings are consistent across Tier I, Tier II and Tier III.

Source: PhoCusWright’s Canadian Tourism Survey 2014

Points of Influence include both personal and web

  • Personal recommendations and websites are the top ranked information sources for planning a vacation, each used by more than one in three travelers.
  • Search engines are the #1 ranked information source (56%), followed closely by traveler review sites such as TripAdvisor (46%).
  • The second tier of websites are online travel agencies such as Expedia (38%) and metasearch engines such as Kayak (28%).
  • Just a minority (18%) use social networking sites for travel information sources, but for those who do, Facebook dominates (95%).
conclusions1
Conclusions
  • Canada enjoys a strong brand among U.S. leisure travelers, but too few Americans can recall leisure advertising for Canada
  • The vacation consideration set of Canada rivals New York and exceeds Disney
  • The brand promise of Canada is good value, friendly, and nature
  • A loyalty effect exists that makes Canada significantly more attractive after the first visit
conclusions cont
Conclusions (Cont.)
  • The value proposition of good value, friendly, and nature is expanded to urban pursuits with repeat exposure
  • Canada is viewed as a multi-destination vacation that is easy to travel to
  • Ad recall for Canada is low. The messaging that is recalled best centers on the brand (i.e. destination)
  • Marketing and advertising that addresses new messaging and increases in volume offers a solution to convert “dreaming” about Canada to booking a Canada vacation.
slide37

Thank You!

Any questions, please contact

John DiStefano

Senior Director, Research

PhoCusWright Inc.

jdistefano@phocuswright.com