Research and Insights

Timely and relevant tourism research information is important to marketing strategy, partners and tourism businesses operating in today’s competitive travel market.

Destination Ontario conducts primary, proprietary tourism-related research and has access to third-party research. It is our goal to provide reports with actionable insights that enable the industry to market their products more effectively.


2021 Research Report: Ontario Consumer Segmentation and Travel Intention Survey

This report was commissioned by Destination Ontario and prepared by Forum Research on March 31, 2021. It is based on a province-wide online panel survey with a random sample size of 3,242. The sample is representative of the Ontario population by age, gender, region and multicultural background. The report drills down into the “travel within Ontario” market and summarizes the characteristics of Ontario’s highest revenue-generating segments. It also shows how each segment differs from the others in terms of demographics, travel motivations, attitudes to travel and to Ontario as a destination, specific planned activities (product), travel behaviour, and information sources/media consumption.

The report also provides a roadmap of how to target each of these travel segments, and match Ontario’s tourism products to them.

This report can help with:

  • Identifying motivators and understanding behaviours of consumer segments that are planning to travel within Ontario
  • Identifying vacation motivators (e.g., want a family vs couple retreat trip)
  • Identifying barriers to Ontario travel and how to overcome them
  • Identifying Ontarians’ travel motivators for outside of Ontario to help determine product/content that could be used to meet that need with an experience or destination that’s actually in Ontario

To access the report, please contact the Data and Insights team at

Traveller Segment Profiles

Destination Ontario is in the process of updating its traveller segment profiles to better reflect current traveller interests and media habits. The goal of our updated segment profiles will be to support the marketing and media strategies of Destination Ontario and its partners within the Ontario tourism industry.

In the meantime, the traveller segmentation provided by Destination Canada is available for your use. Destination Canada’s Explorer Quotient (EQ®) Toolkit provides tourism businesses with valuable insights into why and how different people from different geographic markets like to travel. To learn about Explorer Quotient and how to implement the program, visit

Impact of Tourism in Ontario

As a major economic driver, tourism receipts generated $34.8 billion of total GDP and accounted for 4.2% of Ontario’s GDP in 2017. Tourism receipts generated 401,206 jobs in Ontario that accounted for 5.5% of total provincial employment.

Visitation and Spend

The economic impact of tourism, tourism related employment, hotel occupancy and border crossing statistics help all tourism partners understand the importance of tourism in Ontario’s economy and the tourism industry’s current performance.

Visitation, visitor spending, hotel performance and the number of tourism related businesses on a provincial level and by each of the 13 Tourism Regions can be viewed on the Ministry’s Regional Tourism Profiles webpage.

Additional information on the economic impact of tourism, based on the Travel Survey of Residents of Canada and the International Travel Survey conducted by Statistics Canada, includes inbound and outbound visitor volumes and expenditures by key markets.

Border Crossings

Border crossings for U.S. and key overseas markets are the latest available indicators of tourism performance and market trends. Border crossing statistics are updated monthly.

Research Reports

To understand the consumer mindset and to inform marketing strategies, Destination Ontario has access to various economic and consumer attitude and behaviour research studies.

COVID-19 Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the Ontario tourism industry. Research plays an important role in making evidence-based decisions to guide its recovery strategies and supporting the industry.

Based on economic modelling and consumer sentiment studies, Destination Ontario has relied on research structured to better understand when, where and how to re-engage visitors to think about travel planning. Compiled for our partners are key findings which should be treated as a snapshot in time. Research reports are also available in French upon request.

Global Tourism Watch Research

Global Tourism Watch provides primary consumer-based research on Canada and 10 markets around the world that include Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States. This work is led by Destination Canada and Destination Ontario is a contributing partner to the on-going research study.

The research objectives are to:

  • monitor awareness, travel intentions, and other travel indicators for Canada
  • assess perceptions of Canada and track brand performance against key competitors
  • identify general travel experience interest
  • assess Canada’s competitive positioning on key products and identify growth opportunities;
  • identify motivators and barriers for travel to Canada
  • explore the role of advocacy in the tourism context

To learn more about this global research study and to access the reports, visit Destination Canada’s Global Tourism Watch page.


Destination Ontario’s research and insights team can assist with requests related to research studies and marketing and marketing technology items.

Please contact the research and insights team at:

Working With Us

Learn more about what Destination Ontario is doing to support tourism across the province.

Working With Us

Partnership Opportunities

Destination Ontario collaborates with stakeholders from across the tourism sector to increase tourism revenue and visitation in Ontario.

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