EH-cations in the winter season of Canada are some of the best in the world! Bold statement, we know. Is it fact? Maybe not… but in our eyes and based on our travels and research it should be.
How can we improve our winter tourism seasons? Here are a few.
Not enough is done to promote our winter peak seasons by tourism bodies to the right target groups. Media needs to broadcast positive images of winter and stop portraying Canada as cold. Transportation systems in Canada need to be developed and more affordable. Our current population needs to stop complaining. Winter activities for the 45+ group need to be promoted effectively and the bulk of marketing needs to focus on 30-40 year olds with family.
When you take a step back and look at our snow season without bias or prejudice one can see the beauty in the season. There are very few countries in the world which deliver such a wide variety of winter activities and snow-capped scenery as well as Canada.
Consider this. In Canada we have a four-month winter PEAK season. Not 8! We have world-class resorts catering to snow adventures. Accommodation costs are lower in the winter season. Specials are rampant in the season. And… let us not forget Canadians are a fashion forward people for clothing wearing items like toques, mittens, scarves, boots, long johns and more. We are just way cool for the snow season.
EH-cations in Canada are limitless. The list of possible winter vacations depends on which part of the country you visit and what type of activity you embrace. Winter activities do not have to be outside nor cold.
Canadian EH-cations include adventures and activities like downhill skiing, heli-skiing, cat skiing, backcountry skiing, xc skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, Northern Lights, ice fishing, hot springs, ice climbing, storm watching, wine tasting, ice skating, spa, world-class festivals and more.
Name a country who can provide all this.
According to the 2012 Canadian Winter Outdoor Activity Participants Survey “Special Analysis of the Travel Activities and Motivation Survey (TAMS)” only 15% of Canadians participate in winter activity EH-cations. When our own local population does not participate in winter activities says a lot about our tourism association marketing efforts.
The report goes on further to say “Winter Outdoor Activity Participants are concentrated at the younger end of the adult age spectrum. Two-thirds of them are between 18 and 44 years, with a higher proportion falling into the 18 to 34 year age group (38%) than in the 35 to 44 year age group (28%). The domestic Winter Outdoor Activity Participant market for Canada is characterized by its youth.”
Yet, our associations market to older populations and non traditional international markets? Why? So the question is … will an international tourist spend $5000 to visit Canada in the winter or would they prefer to wait to visit in the summer? Most will wait for the summer. So why spend millions trying to convince them to visit in the winter?
And… to set things straight… it is not always cold in Winter. In some parts of Canada in March and April one can ski up in mountains and golf down in the valleys on the same day. What is there not to like about Canadian winter EH-cations. Nothing. Because winters are supposed to be about snow. That is why it is called winter.
Bottom line… WINTER eh-CATIONS are miss-marketed and tourism bodies need to get the word out and IMPROVE perceptions locally, nationally and internationally.
Come see for yourself how fun winter is in Canada. You do not know what you are missing unless you try.
ehCanadaTravel.com (eh Canada Travel & Adventure) is the largest booking, planning and researching tourism and travel website for Western and Northern Canada currently expanding into Eastern and Atlantic Canada. The EH Team Brothers (Co Founders) also author the eh Canada Travel Blog which was recently awarded “A Top Canadian Blogger” by FlightNetwork.com.