New consumer research outlines high demand for culinary and adventure-based trips
Kingston, ON – (June 22, 2021) – South Eastern Ontario is open for tourism and ready to welcome visitors this summer. Interest in regional destinations is forecast to be a main driver of vacation travel this summer and South Eastern Ontario is inviting visitors to the area for safe and fun experiences for all ages.
RTO 9 (The Regional Tourism Organization of South Eastern Ontario) recently invested in comprehensive consumer brand perception and travel intention research conducted by Twenty31 Consulting to provide tourism businesses and destination marketing organizations with insight into who will be travelling, what experiences visitors will be seeking and what marketing channels they will use to help plan their trips.
Extended stays in demand
The research suggests that demand in travel to South Eastern Ontario is high, with two in five Ontario and Quebec consumers interested in travelling to the region this summer.
“We anticipate that once restrictions are lifted, tourism will resume quickly to our region,” said Bonnie Ruddock, executive director of RTO 9. “There is pent-up demand to visit friends and family and to get out of our own houses and neighbourhoods. We are encouraging visitors to seek out new and unique experiences in South Eastern Ontario beyond what they’ve done before — and to consider staying an extra night or two. A longer stay in our region will have a meaningful impact on recovery for our tourism operators.”
Appealing to young travellers
Twenty31 findings indicate that South Eastern Ontario will attract frequent travellers and younger couples this year, with frequent travellers in Ontario, millennials and those under 45 most likely to visit the region.
The couples market is also the most promising as nearly half of those considering the destination say they will travel with a spouse or partner. Additionally, solo travellers scored surprisingly high at 15 per cent, pointing to the desire to seek escape from routine, and focus on wellness and relaxation.
“We are encouraging visitors to plan multiple trips to our region this year and next — we have so much to offer, and every season brings its own unique experiences to enjoy,” continues Ruddock. “We know that many travellers will be booking multiple getaways and our operators can fulfill many types of trips: family, wellness and health, culture and history.”
Not surprisingly, the survey also indicates that interest in the most active experiences is strongly linked with age – over half of millennial respondents say they are interested in cycling (55 per cent) and adrenaline activities (56 per cent); while Gen Xers are most interested in art, architecture and wildlife viewing.
A growing food and drink scene
The research indicates that the food and drink scene in South Eastern Ontario has the broadest appeal to consumers with wineries, craft breweries, restaurants, bakeries, local producers and farmers markets topping the list. Nearly half of the respondents said they were very interested in food and drink, followed by history and wildlife.
“The culinary experiences in South Eastern Ontario continue to grow and evolve,” said Ruddock. “Whether it’s a farmers market, craft brewery or a sophisticated dining experience under the stars, we are building our own unique food and drink story.”
Activities in South Eastern Ontario in Demand by Ontario and Quebec Travellers, 2021
A glimpse at what to do in South Eastern Ontario this summer:
Made up of nine counties stretching from the Bay of Quinte on the western edge to the counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry along the Quebec border and running along both sides of the 401 highway, South Eastern Ontario offers a quick and easy road trip for visitors looking to vacation in the safety of their own backyard.
For more tips on how visitors can go the extra mile while travelling, view South Eastern Ontario’s guide to smart travel here.
For more information about experiences available in South Eastern Ontario, visit southeasternontario.ca.
*This report summarizes the results of a market research study conducted by Twenty31 Consulting on behalf of the RTO 9 Regional Tourism Organization.
Results are representative of the Ontario and Quebec online adult traveller population and are considered accurate within +/- 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The results presented here are subject to sampling tolerances.
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About RTO 9
RTO 9 is a regional tourism organization established in 2010 that is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. RTO 9 actively promotes tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and works to support and grow the tourism industry through marketing, product development, investment attraction, and workforce development initiatives. The regions of South Eastern Ontario are 1000 Islands Gananoque, Bay of Quinte, Brockville, Cornwall and Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Counties, Frontenac County, Kingston, Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward County and the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways.
About Twenty31 Consulting
Twenty31 Consulting is a research and innovation-based management consultancy working with senior leaders of travel and tourism organizations to define and build sustainable, competitive advantage. Twenty31 are active members of the Travel Industry Association of Canada and the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Twenty31 are a Canadian-registered company, headquartered in Vancouver, with a team of partners and associates located in Vancouver, Toronto, London, Cape Town, New York and Berlin.
To arrange an interview with Bonnie Ruddock, executive director of Region 9 (South Eastern Ontario) Regional Tourism Organization, or arrange high-res images please contact:
Erin O’Driscoll, Beattie Tartan : firstname.lastname@example.org Direct: 416.319.8296