Nunavut’s average “tourist” a male business traveller
Only one in three travellers visit for leisure
Meet the average visitor to Nunavut: a well-to-do, well-educated man between 40 and 65, who’s travelling alone for business and stays less than a week in the territory.
A Canadian, he’s probably from Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec or Nunavut.
Most of the money he spends in Nunavut goes for airfare.
If he has time during his short stay, he shops, stops by a visitors centre or takes a hike.
That’s the portrait that emerges from the 2011 Nunavut Exit Survey, released by Nunavut Tourism Oct. 22 at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre in Iqaluit.
Fewer than eight per cent of all visitors, or less than one in 10, stay longer than two weeks in Nunavut.
These short visits reflects a trend in Canada, not just in Nunavut.
“People are looking for shorter excursions,” said Colleen Dupuis Nunavut Tourism’s chief executive officer.
For the survey, Nunavut Tourism workers talked to 1,034 people at airports, hotels and visitor centres in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay from May to September 2011.
Overall, only one in three visitors come to Nunavut for leisure, and usually they’re well-to-do couples, between 41 and 64 years of age.
More leisure visitors head to the Kitikmeot region, where they comprise half of all visitors, the survey found.
As for cruise tourism, only one in 10 people visits Nunavut on cruises, although they account for a large percentage of leisure visitors to Nunavut.
However, the survey says cruise trip passenger numbers dropped to 1,900 passengers in 2011, compared to nearly 3,000 in 2008.
Unlike the typical business visitor to Nunavut, most cruise passengers were Canadian women, over 65, with high incomes and university degrees looking to experience culture and the Arctic environment.
Among visitors to Nunavut, cruise travellers are the most satisfied with their visits, the survey reveals.
Of all visitors to Nunavut, eight in 10 went to the Baffin region, with the balance split between the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions.
On average, they spent $2,663 per person in Nunavut, generating about $40 million for the territory, up from $32 million in 2008.
About eight in 10 rated their trip to Nunavut as excellent or good.
But there were disappointments.
Visitors said they’re like to see lower costs, better airports, more products and services and easier access to the land.