Travel activities and motivations survey — Canadian travel market

Wildlife Viewing While on Trips of One or More Nights

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — October 16, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 30.7% (7,605,527) of adult Canadians went wildlife viewing while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. Wildlife viewing was the second most common outdoor activity undertaken by Canadian Pleasure Travelers. Visiting a nature park (22.8%) was the most popular activity, followed by viewing land-based animals (10.4%), whales and other marine life (8.4%), wildflowers and flora (7.7%), birds (7.5%), and the Northern Lights (4.4%). Of those who went wildlife viewing, 35.3% (2,681,779) reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip. Wildlife viewing was the outdoor activity cited eighth most often as the main reason for taking a trip.

Relative to the average Canadian Pleasure Traveler, Wildlife Viewers are slightly more likely to be female (52.9%), 25 to 54 years of age and married with dependent children living at home. They are more likely to have a university education and their household income is close to the average Canadian Pleasure Traveler ($74,554). They are over-represented in the Western Provinces and especially in Alberta.

Wildlife Viewers frequently travel within Canada (97.9%) and were more likely than the average Canadian Pleasure Traveler to have taken trips to other provinces or regions in the past two years. They were especially more likely than average to have visited the western provinces, the northern territories and Prince Edward Island.

Wildlife Viewers were more likely to have participated in outdoor activities when on trips than the typical Canadian Pleasure Traveler and especially in nature-oriented activities (e.g., hiking, climbing and paddling; cycling; cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, wilderness activities). They were also more likely to have camped, stayed in the wilderness and to have taken wilderness tours in the last two years. Wildlife Viewers were also very active in culture and entertainment activities when traveling, and were particularly likely to have patronized educational attractions (e.g., historical sites, museums and galleries; science and technology exhibits; aboriginal cultural experiences). Relative to other Canadian Pleasure Travelers, Wildlife Viewers seek vacations that are intellectually stimulating, novel and memorable.

Wildlife Viewers were more likely than average to use the Internet to plan (69.2%) and book travel (44.9%). They are particularly likely to use official tourism information sources (e.g., brochures and guides, visitor information centres, websites) to plan trips. They can be most effectively targeted effectively through travel, nature and home-related media.