In the online survey of a representative sample, BC’s leisure travellers were provided with a list of 69 destinations, attractions and landmarks, and asked to select the “best places” in their province.
Stanley Park (39%) and Tofino (38%) were the top choices for respondents, followed by Granville Island (27%), Butchart Gardens (26%), the Rocky Mountains (also 26%), the wineries in the Okanagan (25%), English Bay and Spanish Banks (23%), Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) (22%), Whistler Village (20%) and Okanagan Lake (also 20%).
Closer examination of the results revealed some interesting differences by age group. BC’s leisure travellers aged 18-to-34 were more likely to select Stanley Park as one of their best places (46%) than those aged 35-to-54 (39%) and those aged 55 and over (35%). In fact, the preferred destination for BC’s leisure travellers aged 55 and over was Butchart Gardens (38%). The youngest leisure travellers also expressed a fondness for English Bay (33%) and Gastown (23%).
Other BC destinations that received mentions from residents include Whistler-Blackcomb (19%), Barkerville (17%), Cathedral Grove (16%) and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (15%).
“British Columbia’s leisure travellers have a hard time selecting a favourite destination from the many appealing attractions their province has to offer,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Still, Stanley Park and Tofino were regarded by about two-in-five respondents as visits that cannot be missed.”
On average, BC leisure travellers have taken 4.7 trips in the past year, with men making more frequent trips than women (5.1 vs. 4.3, respectively).
In the next 12 months, British Columbia’s leisure travellers plan to make an average of 5.4 trips. Three-in-four (75%) say they plan to take at least one leisure trip within BC in the next 12 months, while 44% plan to travel to another Canadian province and 67% are considering at least one trip to the United States. Two-in-five (41%) plan to make a trip outside North America.
Metro Vancouver leisure travellers are more likely to be planning a leisure trip to the United States (75%) or outside North America (47%) than leisure travellers who reside in the rest of the province (54% and 33%, respectively).
British Columbia’s leisure travellers aged 18-to-34 are more likely to be considering a trip outside North America (54%) than those aged 35-to-54 (38%) and 55 and older (36%).