Travel activities and motivations survey — Canadian travel market

Wilderness Activities While on Trips of One or More Nights

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — October 27, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, only 1.8% (436,817) of adult Canadians participated in wilderness activities while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. Participation in wilderness activities was the 20th most common outdoor activity undertaken by Canadian Pleasure Travelers while traveling in the past two years. Taking a wilderness skills course (1.1%) was the most common activity, followed by dog sledding (0.7%) and ice climbing (0.2%). Wilderness skills courses (41.2%) and dog sledding (36.9%) were often reported as the main reason for taking at least one trip.

Those who participated in wilderness activities are more likely to be young (18 to 34 years of age) and single. In fact, they are the 3rd youngest of the 21 outdoor activity types and over-represented among Young Singles and Young Couples as well as Mature Singles. They are well-educated and the 5th most likely of the outdoor activity segments to have a university education (40.5%). However, perhaps reflecting their youth or lifestyle imperatives, their household incomes ($73,987) ranked 19th out of the 21 outdoor activity types. They are highly over-represented in British Columbia.

Those who participated in wilderness activities are most likely to travel within their own province or region. They were the 4th most likely of the 21 outdoor activity types to have taken a trip within their own province or region (95.0%), but only the 18th most likely to have traveled to an adjacent province or region (38.7%) and the 8th most likely to have visited a nonadjacent province or region (53.6%). They were especially likely to have recently visited the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Those who participated in wilderness activities are less likely to take out-of-country, tropical trips. They were the 17th most likely to have visited the United States (53.5%) and the least likely of the 21 outdoor activity types to have visited Mexico (8.8%) and the Caribbean (11.5%).

Relative to the average Canadian Pleasure Traveler, those who participated in wilderness activities were exceptionally active when traveling. They were especially active in outdoor activities associated with wilderness settings (e.g., hiking, climbing and paddling; cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, hunting) and exhibit keen interest in culture and entertainment activities that are educational or experiential (e.g., aboriginal cultural experiences, wilderness tours). They seek vacations that are novel, physically challenging and intellectually stimulating as well as social and inexpensive.

Relative to the other 21 outdoor activity types, those who participated in wilderness activities are below-average users the Internet to plan (68.0%) and book travel (41.6%). They can be most effectively targeted effectively through outdoor, nature and science magazines, travel magazines and multicultural and jazz radio programming.