As 2015 quickly draws to a close, we would like to look back on this whirlwind of a year and piece together the trends within the Ontario hospitality industry that you, as industry leaders, made happen. Ontario certainly saw an increase of tourism this year and adapted accordingly to new industry trends that occur suddenly and can drastically shift the market. Let’s take a look back at 2015 so you can better prepare yourselves for 2016 to be stronger industry leaders and customer service representatives.
Increase of American Travelers
2015 was the year of American travelers, with June 2015 being the highest it has been with across the border guests than seen since May 2008 according to Stats Can. Within this time, Canada has not seen this number of American travelers staying overnight since November 2007, as well as the number of day trippers since February 2012, due to Vancouver Olympics. This past summer saw another increase with over 2 million travelers from the US visiting Canada for the Fifa Women’s World Cup – 1 million of these travelers entered Ontario.
Increase of American Day Trips
The hospitality industry can piggy-back the great shopping deals Ontario has to offer, especially within the Niagara region, with the U.S. Buffalo border just minutes away. More Americans have made ‘reverse black Friday’ trips than ever seen before with 658,000 Americans who drove in, September 2015 an increase of 9.8 percent based on calculations from the previous September.
Ontario hospitality can certainly benefit from this trend, and according to a recent article published by the Financial Post, the low dollar has drastically changed the travel industry, “travel does have two-way flows. It had been pretty one-sided for years but it does look like the drop in the dollar has turned the tide- there has been about 10 percent increase in U.S. residents entering Canada over the past year, Canadian trips to the U.S. are down 25 percent to 20 percent from highs in 2012.” (Financial Post, November 24, 205).
Increase of Canadian Travellers
Canada’s current low dollar in the past few years has not only increased the tourism within Canada, it has also encouraged Canadians to travel within our home soil. Canadians traveling overseas has remained stable for 2015, however across the border, Canadians visiting the U.S. have fallen 28 percent from 2,492,000 to 1,795.000 cross-border day trips in September 2014, a trend that has continued into 2015, according to Stats Can. The dollar decline has certainly influenced Canadians to travel more of Canada, central Ontario and participate in hotel ‘getaways’, shopping at Canadian outlet malls and experience local culture.
Increase of Millennial Travellers
The millennial generation has made their presence known within the hospitality industry, challenging traditions of the industry. They have unique and innovative desires that influence their traveling decisions such as enhanced experiences, tech-savvy trends and social media engagement. This generation has been a huge influence within our industry of hospitality, as they are the largest growing customer segment within the industry. Marketing to millennial’s is a trend that should continue well into 2016.
Niagara is a top travel destination
Experts at Hotels.com write travel predictions based on current trends of what the tourism industry can expect for 2016, although they may not have a magic ball, we are happy to announce that the Niagara region has made the top 10 list of destinations around the world for the up coming year!
Here is what they had to say about us on their predictions list:
“Under-the-radar Canadian destinations will continue to shine in 2016. The province of Ontario is home to perennial Top 15 International Destinations- Toronto and Niagara Falls- according to the HPI, but over the last two years, the region has seen the most growth in travel demand in lesser-known destinations such as Toronto’s neighbour Mississauga, the border city of Windsor and the scenic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, with each more than doubling” (TravelDailyNews, 2015)
These trends over the last year have influenced the hospitality standards, how we do business and how we adapt for even more changes for 2016. As always, customer service is something to strive for no matter what end of the hospitality industry you are on. Braymark is here to help ensure that your business is ready for the year ahead, here is to a successful end of year and an even brighter 2016!