Destinations International and Longwoods International Reveal Research on American and Canadian Attitudes Towards the Tourism Industry
Washington, D.C. (February 16, 2022) – Destinations International and Longwoods International today released the “National Resident Sentiment Towards Tourism” benchmark study for both Canada and the United States. The report examines how Americans and Canadians assess the tourism industry’s growth—both its benefits to their lives as well as the potential pitfalls. The study results can be viewed here.
In 2021 Longwoods International fielded a national resident sentiment study utilizing a national online consumer research panel of 4,000 adults. The scale and scope of this study make insights available on the regional and generational level, allowing for both a national benchmark evaluation, as well as evaluations of nuances across the country. In partnership with Destinations International, the results of this National Resident Sentiment Study Towards Tourism are being made available to the tourism industry.
The trials and tribulations of travel and tourism worldwide during the coronavirus pandemic have shined a spotlight on the visitor industry and its importance to economies globally. Even before the pandemic, the industry was increasingly in the spotlight for a variety of reasons. Communities debated the pros and cons of hosting visitors, weighing the jobs and revenues provided by tourism against potential overcrowding and even environmental concerns. With a growing membership in Canada and the formation of the Canadian Alliance, Destinations International sought to expand the work done around resident sentiment in the U.S. to the Canadian market.
“This research is vitally important to our members and the entire Canadian and U.S. tourism industries,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. “Especially during times of crisis with the global pandemic, the way Canadians and Americans view the travel and tourism industry is vital information to our destination organization members as they continue to work with their community stakeholders to plan for continued recovery.”
“This research confirms that there is broad public support for the tourism industry in communities across the country,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “But the study also makes clear that the industry would benefit if it did a better job keeping local residents informed on upcoming tourism-related projects and initiatives.”
Canadian Sentiment Study Highlights:
- Canadians generally believe that travel and tourism is a positive force for their province and community, improving the quality of life for residents, and they favor programs to attract even more visitors. The industry should be able to harness that public support as it seeks creative ways to survive and recover from coronavirus downturn.
- Canadians support attracting even more visitors, with 60% supporting an increase in tourists, and only 15% opposing such an increase.
- Support for the visitor industry is premised on the belief that the industry is a catalyst for economic growth. A majority of residents, ranging from 50% to 66%, believe that tourism encourages local investment, attracts new businesses, helps recruit workers and attracts new residents to their communities.
United States Sentiment Study Highlights:
- Support for the industry and its employees remains strong, with about two thirds of respondents believing that tourism is good for their state and local community, and less than 20% disagreeing with that statement.
- The major takeaways from this research are that first, there is broad support for the travel and tourism industry across the country. However, there exist areas for attention by the industry: • The need for better resident engagement around topics of public concern – The industry should pay attention to public concerns about specific issues, including opinions on the public use of lodging tax revenues and disruptions to neighborhoods by lodging sharing services. • Residents feel largely left out of the conversation on tourism development.
- When it comes to tourism promotion, support for the industry continues, with broad approval of state and local campaigns to attract visitors through such efforts. By a ratio of about two to one, Americans favor state and local tourism promotion efforts.
In partnership with Destinations International, Longwoods is providing custom resident sentiment research for Destinations International members. These studies will allow cities, regions and states to understand local support for the tourism industry and how that support compares to the national norm. This type of information can be critical when developing a community outreach and advocacy effort.
Destination organizations who wish to learn more about participating in a resident sentiment study may click here for more information.
About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. For more information, visit www.destinationsinternational.org.
About Longwoods International:
Longwoods International is a leading travel and tourism research company with offices in Toronto; Columbus, OH; Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; and Lake Geneva, WI. It conducts Longwoods Travel USA®, the largest ongoing survey of American travelers, as well as image, advertising effectiveness, advertising return on investment and other custom research in 12 countries around the globe.