KINGSTON, Ont. — Provincial travel is going to be popular this summer and South Eastern Ontario is ready to welcome visitors. The Regional Tourism Organization of South Eastern Ontario (RTO 9) invested in consumer perception and travel intention research, conducted by Twenty31 Consulting, to give tourism businesses and marketing organizations insight into who will be travelling, experiences in high demand and marketing channels used for planning trips.
According to Twenty31 Consulting’s research, two in five Ontario and Quebec consumers are interested in travelling to the region this summer.
“We anticipate that once restrictions are lifted, tourism will resume quickly to our region,” says Bonnie Ruddock, executive director of RTO 9. “There’s pent-up demand to visit friends and family and to get out of our own houses and neighbourhoods. We’re 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.”
Moreover, the research highlights that South Eastern Ontario will attract younger travellers this year, with majority of people likely under 45. Young couples are considering travel and solo travellers want an escape from COVID-19 routines to focus on wellness.
“We’re 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,” says 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.”
The research reveals that 55 per cent of millennial respondents are interested in cycling and 56 per cent are interested in adrenaline activities while Generation X is more interested in art, architecture and wildlife viewing.
In addition, many of the survey respondents say the food and drink scene in South Eastern Ontario is appealing, with wineries, craft breweries, restaurants, bakeries, local producers and farmers markets at the top of the to-do list.
“The culinary experiences in South Eastern Ontario continue to grow and evolve,” says Ruddock. “Whether it’s a farmers market, craft brewery or a sophisticated dining experience under the stars, we’re building our own unique food and drink story.”