Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile
IssueCulture and tourism / Facilities / Social benefits
The report is based on four large-scale surveys of Canadians, Americans, and overseas visitors to Ontario, including basic information about travel (data from 2010) as well as travel motivations (2006).
One of the key findings of the report is that the 9.5 million overnight cultural tourists have a substantial economic impact on Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product ($3.7 billion). This economic impact generated about 68,000 jobs and $1.7 billion in taxes for all levels of government.
The report delves into the factors behind this level of impact. For instance, overnight cultural tourists spend more time and money in the province than other overnight tourists. The report notes that “arts and culture tourists spend 4.4 nights in Ontario – 42% longer than the typical tourist at 3.1 nights”. Cultural tourists spend 78% more money on their visits than other tourists ($667 vs. $374), with particularly high spending on lodging, food, beverages, retail goods, entertainment, and recreation.
In terms of the provenance of Ontario’s cultural tourists, two-thirds come from Canada (including Ontario residents visiting other parts of the province), while 23% come from the U.S.A. and 11% from overseas. Almost one-quarter of all visitors (22%) participated in arts and culture activities while travelling. Arts and culture activities are most commonly undertaken by overseas tourists (63% of which participated in a cultural activity while visiting), followed by American (39%) and Canadian visitors (18%).
Heritage activities rank very high among the priorities of cultural tourists: historic sites are the most common type of cultural activity undertaken and the most common motivation for travelling. Other popular activities include visiting museums or art galleries, attending performances, and attending festivals or fairs. Many visitors participate in multiple cultural activities while in the province.