COVID-19

 


Consumer BehaviouR Travel INTENTION Study 

Wave 2. (Winter)

With the ever chaning landscape, the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association and 9 other Regional Tourism Organizations are working with Abacus Data to check in with travellers to understand travel preferences and intentions for the winter season. These results are to help give actionable insights needed to counsel tourism operators, and to continue to adjust their respective business recovery and communications strategies accordingly. 

The Wave 2 Survey results will inform partners on what has changed since the first study (June 2020), and what we can expect for the next season of travel. The focus of this wave includes:

  • Understanding shifting travel preferences and behaviour
  • Travel preferences and intentions for the winter season
  • Compare intention with action
  • Will focus on Ontario only survey sample

For the full Ontario Wide Report, click here, or to see the RTO 3 specific results click here

Wave 1. (Spring/Summer)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a historic and devastating impact on the Ontario tourism industry. We are happy to share with you the results from a Travel Intentions Survey the Regional Tourism Organizations of Ontario along with Destination Ontario and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Cultural Industries funded. 

Overall, the COVID pandemic has many travellers worried about travel this summer, and most are hesitant to resume their pre-pandemic travel habits (when asked how they feel about travel, only 6% say they will jump back in). That said, there is still an interest in travel, and most will be choosing travel within Ontario. Within the next 3 months, 60% of Ontarians say they will be comfortable travelling in their region, and 50% are comfortable travelling to another region in the province. Those who previously chose international destinations (US or other) are also more likely to be choosing an Ontario destination. When making a decision about where to go, travellers will want to see clear communications about how the operator/destination is following COVID protocols, and how they can follow protocols as well (maintaining physical distancing, fewer interactions with others etc.).

For the full intention travel survey report, click here, for the presentation, click here or to see the RTO 3 specific results click here


MARKETING STRATEGY

WORTH THE WAIT

Based on the realities of today, support to tourism based businesses is vital and it is a priority to pivot our efforts to both engage locals to support their local businesses and to build “Destination Dreaming” efforts to build interest in our region for future visitation.  During a time when citizens are being asked to refrain from travel, it is important that our marketing messaging reflects that.  To help ensure that, we have developed a campaign for non-local audiences that will help keep our brand front and centre in a responsible way that is built around the tagline: “Worth the Wait”.   This tagline offers two meanings to potential visitors.  The first is that Hamilton Halton Brant’s tourism product is so awesome it is worth waiting for to be able to enjoy safely.  The second inference is that the safety of your family and the people you want to spend time with is worth the wait. 

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SHOW SOME LOCAL LOVE

In addition to our marketing efforts for non-local audiences, we have also developed a campaign theme for use in local markets built around the tagline:  “Show Some Local Love.”   Whether it is encouraging residents to order food from local restaurants and buy goods from local shops online or offering suggestions for virtual activities like museum tours and online classes, the Show Some Local Love campaign is all about offering easy, actionable steps that local residents can take to support their community’s economy.  Additionally, the RTO has allocated a portion of the interim marketing budget to be designated for direct marketing support of the DMOs/municipalities that have created website portals that have been developed to provide local residents with up-to-date information on local tourism businesses providing Covid-19 safe products and services to their respective local communities.  In addition to posting this on our leisure website and ongoing posting via our owned social media channels, we will be launching a five-week (May 1-May 31) paid social media campaign for each of our regional DMOs geographic catchment to support efforts.  Utilizing the umbrella “Show Some Local Love” interim brand positioning, each DMO specific campaign will be targeted geographically and will link Facebook and Instagram users directly through to their local DMO/Municipal “support local” website page.

We encourage you to use the “Show Some Local Love” digital wordmarks that we created during this time in your own Marketing tactics. For access to these wordmarks or if you have any questions please contact Brittany Hunter by e-mail, brittany.hunter@theheartofontario.com or by phone, 905 516-0135.

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SUB REGIONAL "SUPPORT LOCAL" WEBSITE PAGES

Our regional tourism industry partners are innovating their business in order to generate revenue during the Covid-19 social distancing time-frame and meet local needs. We feature these businesses, so that they are supported, but also inspire you to engage current customers and/or attract new customers. Click on a region below to see how they are supporting locally. 

Brantford      Burlington      County of Brant      Halton Hills      Hamilton     Oakville

 

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