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NewsFlash – Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile

New report commissioned by Ontario Arts Council shows the significant impact of arts and culture on Ontario tourism

Toronto, January 22, 2013 – 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.
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 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).
Read the Executive Summary and Full report.
“This report demonstrates 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.”



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.
  • Of the 9.5 million Ontario arts and culture tourists, 66% were Canadians, 23% were Americans, and 11% were from overseas.
  • 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/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 is a primary motivator for consumer travel among Ontario’s tourist market.

  • The market for arts and culture tourism in North America is very large: 89% of North American tourists with travel experience in Ontario over a two-year period seek an arts or culture activity on their trips.
  • 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.

Ontario’s arts and culture tourists seek out a variety of activities while travelling.

  • Each arts and culture activity attracted significant numbers of Ontario’s overnight tourists in 2010.  For example:
    • 4.1 million tourists visited historic sites;
    • 3.4 million tourists visited museums or art galleries;
    • 3.3 million tourists attended arts performances;
    • 2.1 million tourists attended festivals and fairs; and
    • 1.2 million tourists visited zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens.
  • Ontario tourists who engage in one arts or cultural activity on a trip tend to participate in other arts and culture activities on the same trip.  For example, 26% of overnight tourists who attend an arts performance such as a concert or play also visit a museum or art gallery during their trip.
  • Ontario’s North American arts/culture tourists travel for culinary experiences and to shop at twice the rate of tourists overall.  For example:
    • 37% of arts and culture tourists are motivated to travel for culinary experiences, compared to 19% of all Ontario’s North American tourists;
    • 23% of arts and culture tourists travel in order to shop, compared with 12% of tourists overall.

For more information:

Kathryn Townshend
Director of Research, Policy and Evaluation
416-969-7456 or 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7456
ktownshend@arts.on.ca / www.arts.on.ca
About OAC Research
Producing and sharing valid and credible research is an important part of OAC’s commitment to advocate for the value of the arts in people’s lives. OAC’s research supports the work, planning and advocacy of artists and arts organizations across Ontario, while increasing the public’s understanding of the economic, social and cultural impacts of the arts.

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. In 2011-2012 , OAC funded 1,681 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 216 Ontario communities, for a total of $52.8 million.