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December 2005 Travel Newsletter

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  • Canadian travel news
    Overseas visitors show positive growth
    Canadian leisure travel report
    Canadian RevPAR
  • International travel news
    Businesses say passport rules are 'war on tourism'
    Fear of bird flu may hurt global tourism
    China likely will be world's top tourism spot by 2017
  • Regional Newsr
    Is Nova Scotia getting the real story on tourism?
  • Internet info
    More women plan and book trips online
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner
    Post 2006 rates?

Canadian travel news

Overseas visitors show positive growth
The year-to-date total for overseas overnight travel to Canada in 2005 (3.56 million trips) represents the fourth highest level in the past 10 years.
The total number of trips from overseas destinations increased 5.6% in September 2005 compared to September 2004, as nearly 545,000 overseas residents visited Canada.
From January to September 2005, all overseas regions posted increases when compared with the same time frame last year: South America (+25.5%), Europe (+8.1%), Asia (+4.8%), Oceania (+14.5%), Africa (+5.6%), and North America other than the U.S. (+6.2%), with Mexico individually posting a 9% increase.
However, compared to September 2004, the total number of trips to Canada in September decreased 8% to 3.4 million trips, mainly because 16% fewer Americans made same-day car trips north of the border.
In September 2005, total outbound travel by Canadians reached almost 3.6 million trips, an increase of 6.4% over September 2004.

Canadian leisure travel report
A new study looking at the travel habits, preferences and future trip intentions of Canadian leisure travellers found:

  • Nearly nine in 10 (88%) took one or more domestic trips. The most popular province is Ontario (42%), followed by Québec (29%), British Columbia (21%) and Alberta (18%).
  • British Columbia is the most desired province for future visitation (66%), followed by Ontario (62%), Alberta (59%), Québec (52%), Nova Scotia (39%), Prince Edward Island (39%), New Brunswick (36%), and Newfoundland (32%).
  • One-half of Canadian leisure travellers took one or more international trips with the United States being the most frequently visited destination. 34% of these travellers visited the United States, followed by the Caribbean (10%) and Europe (9%).

Canadian RevPAR
Latest lodging report (week ending November 26th) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).

Province RevPAR % change
Alberta $71.07 +17.0%
British Columbia $69.02 +34.7%
Manitoba $50.32 -14.1%
New Brunswick $47.65 -6.1%
Newfoundland & Labrador $63.28 +9.0%
Nova Scotia $50.32 -6.0%
Ontario $67.25 +2.4%
Prince Edward Island $26.75 +2.5%
Quebec $66.01 +1.7%
Saskatchewan $68.64 +11.9%
Canada $53.73 +8.5%

Notes:

RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
% change reflects the change from the previous week


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International travel news

Businesses say passport rules are 'war on tourism'
New York state businesses warned the U.S. Congress recently that requiring passports at the Canadian border will disrupt trade and hurt tourism, while one official tried to reassure legislators an alternative ID would probably cost about US$50.
Howard Zemsky, leader of a Buffalo-area business group, warned legislators: "Don't turn the war on terrorism into the war on tourism."
He and other witnesses outlined their fears a new rule to require passports at all land crossings into the United States by 2008 would clog up commerce with the country's biggest trading partner, Canada, and keep out critical tourism dollars.
Officials on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border argue the passport rule would reduce trade and leisure travel between the two countries. The government, however, maintains it is necessary to prevent terrorists from entering the country.
''This is a looming crisis at our borders,'' said committee chairman Donald Manzullo, an Illinois Republican.

Fear of bird flu may hurt global tourism
The spread of bird flu may have a "substantial" effect on international tourism if governments overstate the risks involved, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) said.
"Unnecessary scare-mongering can cause a sharp drop in tourism that squeezes economies," said Francesco Frangialli, head of the United Nations agency. "We do know from our previous experience with SARS that its effect on tourism could be substantial," Frangialli said, adding that media coverage of SARS consisted of "too much news, often unsubstantiated and speculative."
Bird flu, which so far has rarely been transmitted from birds to humans, has killed 60 people in recent months, particularly in Vietnam and China.
However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the risk of a pandemic is the highest in more than 35 years. The WTO is meeting with representatives of the WHO to discuss the possible effects on tourism.

China likely will be world's top tourism spot by 2017
The WTO has forecast China will receive 137 million inbound tourists in 2020, but that goal will likely be achieved earlier due to the current boom in tourism.
China received 41.76 million tourists who spent at least one night last year which ranked them fourth in the world. France was number one. China earned US$25.7 billion from tourism last year, providing jobs for some 6 million people.
But increasing numbers of Chinese are also travelling overseas, many for the first time, as years of double digit economic growth puts more money in people's pockets.
Almost 29 million Chinese went abroad on holiday last year making China the single largest source of tourists in Asia. That number is expected to reach 50 million by 2010.

Regional News

Is Nova Scotia getting the real story on tourism?
In its 2005 Tourism Insights report, the Nova Scotia government states that occupancy rates in Halifax accommodations and the number of room nights sold so far this season are down by 2%.
Many hotel operators say those numbers don't even come close to the real picture, and they say the provincial stats seldom do.
"Our tourism business was down probably 15% to 20%, maybe more," said Seymour Trihopoylos, the general manager of the Stardust Motel in Bedford. "We've been in this business since 1999 and when business is good, the numbers are better than what we see, and when it's bad, the numbers aren't as bad."
Liberal Leader Francis MacKenzie says the Tories are refusing to give the public the real story when it comes to Tourism. "Operators are suffering, and the department of Tourism is pretending everything is great, when it clearly isn't." said MacKenzie. "I am having a difficult time finding operators that support the government statistics on tourism declines," he said. "We won't be able to correct the problem until we know exactly what we're dealing with."

Internet info

More women plan and book trips online
While the number of Americans using the Internet appears to have reached a plateau, those who plan and book trips or vacations online continues to climb rapidly, according to a recent report by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA).
Survey results indicate a majority of online travellers (78% or 79 million Americans) turned to the Internet for travel or destination information in 2005 - much higher than the 65% of online travellers in 2004.
The 2005 report shows that the most effective online marketing techniques that trigger a consumer response are

  • unsponsored search engine results (36%)
  • e-mail recommendations by friends or colleagues (34%)
  • links on Web sites (26%)
  • opt-in e-mails or e-newsletters (21%).

'Our research shows that women now outnumber men online and that women are more likely to plan and book leisure trips,' noted Dr. Suzanne Cook, TIA's Senior Vice President of Research. 'It's important that the hospitality industry pay attention to that demographic and market themselves accordingly.'

Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada (www.frbo.ca) & For Rent By Owner in Canada (www.FRBO.ca) web sites for the month of November 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 125,497 hits (4,183 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,577 (319 per day)
Visitors came from 80+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.

Advice for the property owner

Post 2006 rates?
Across the United States, average hotel room rates are expected to increase to US$95.32 a night in 2006, according to estimates from PricewaterhouseCoopers. That's up 5.1% from this year and up 10.5% from 2004.
Time to post your 2006 rates? There is no cost to edit your listings at holiday homes.canada. Just send us a note of the changes needed and we'll take care of things.

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