New report shows the significant impact of arts and culture on Ontario tourism

TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The economic impact of arts and culture tourism in Ontario is considerable according to a new analysis released today by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile, the report prepared for OAC by Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd., provides a comprehensive profile of Ontario's arts and culture tourists.

Arts and culture are a key part of Ontario's tourism industry. 

  • 9.5 million overnight tourists to Ontario participated in arts and culture activities during their trips in 2010 - representing 22% of all Ontario's overnight visitors.
  • A high proportion of Ontario's foreign tourists engage in arts and cultural activities.  American arts and culture tourists represent 39% of all American overnight visitors to Ontario in 2010. Sixty-three percent of Ontario's overseas visitors engaged in an arts or culture activity during their trip in 2010.

The economic impact of Ontario's arts and culture tourism is substantial. 

  • Arts and culture tourist spending generated:
    • $3.7 billion in GDP province-wide in 2010
    • 67,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in wages
    • $1.7 billion in taxes

Arts and culture tourists spend more, and stay longer.

  • The average Ontario arts and culture tourist spends twice as much per trip as does a typical tourist - $667 per trip versus $374. 
  • On average, arts and culture tourists spend 4.4 nights in Ontario - 42% longer than the typical tourist at 3.1 nights. 
  • Spending in Ontario by arts and culture tourists totaled $4.1 billion in 2010 - representing 36% of spending by all overnight tourists in the province that year.
  • Many sectors of Ontario's economy benefit from arts and culture tourist spending. For example, Ontario's arts and culture tourists spent $1.1 billion on lodging, $1.1 billion on food and beverages, $600 million on retail and $500 million on entertainment and recreation in 2010.

Arts and culture tourism is a primary motivator for travel.

  • 44% of North American tourists with Ontario travel experience said that arts and culture was their main reason for traveling for at least one of their trips.
  • Some arts and culture activities are more likely to motivate trips than others. For example, 14% of these North American tourists were motivated to travel by music performances, 11% by theatre, and 8% by art festivals.

Click here for access to the Executive Summary and full report.

"This report shows the important role that arts and culture play in Ontario's tourism industry in terms of spending, economic impact and attracting visitors," said Martha Durdin, OAC Chair. "It also provides useful information on how to further tap into this large potential market for the province's arts and culture offerings."

"Cultural tourism is a powerful force that is transforming global travel and trends," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "Our diverse arts, culture and heritage has helped us attract visitors from within our borders and beyond to explore and experience our exciting province. Our government is committed to evolving our tourism strategy to align with our cultural assets - for example, harnessing live music experiences that will drive our economy and firmly place Ontario on the international map as a premier cultural travel destination."

"As one of Canada's best known destinations for theatre, the important economic link between the arts and tourism is well established in the City of Stratford through the Stratford Festival," says Anita Gaffney, Executive Director of the Stratford Festival. "Many other Ontario towns and cities have thriving arts scenes that may not be as well recognized for their tourism impact. This report makes it clear that this link deserves further attention."

The report is based on an analysis of several existing travel industry surveys: Travel Survey of Residents of Canada 2010 (TSRC); International Travel Survey 2010 (ITS US & OVS), and Travel Activities and Motivations Surveys (TAMS Canada & US, 2006). The report includes information on the number, characteristics and impact of Ontario's arts and culture tourists including, volume, country of origin, activities, trip characteristics, tourist spending, economic impact, market share, motivations, and demographic characteristics.

The Ontario Arts Council is the province of Ontario's primary funding body for professional arts activity. Since 1963, OAC has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians.

Ce document existe également en français. 

SOURCE: Ontario Arts Council

For further information:

Kirsten Gunter
Director of  Communications
Ontario Arts Council
416-969-7403 | 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403

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