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German Tourists in


Andreea Covaci
Mariana Dinica

Consumer behavior was always a subject of interest in many fields of activity because it
represents the bases of decision making. In tourism industry is very important to know who your
consumers are and how they act, because, through that you can create the best services for your
target market.
The aim of this paper is to show the tendencies of german travelers who go to Canada in
their holiday, analyze them and then propose some ideas in order to increase the number of
travelers that choose Canada as their next touristic destination.
In 2015 the consumer confidence reached the highest level seen since the financial crisis
of 2008/09 (Trading Economics, 2015). According to the results of a GTW survey over a third
(37%) of german long-haul travelers want to travel more in the next two or three years. The
Market Outlook Indicator (MOI) improved from +23 in 2012 to +29. So, germans are optimistic
about their future trips outside of their country.
For german long-haul travelers the top-two product interests are seeing beautiful scenery
(84%) and experiencing a countrys unique character and local lifestyles (81%). The next
interest they have is seeing historical and cultural attractions (78%) (Canadian Tourism
Commission, 2012). Almost half of germans (49%) associate Canada with beautiful scenery and
this means that Canada is a destination that satisfies their main interest. On the other hand, only
19% of long-haul german travelers consider Canada a good place for seeing historical & cultural
attractions. Regarding the interest for experiencing a countrys unique character and local
lifestyle only 23% associate Canada with it. This statistic reveals that even if Canada satisfies the
top interest of german travelers, it has to create strategies in order to offer them products that
satisfy their interest in experiencing a countrys unique character and local lifestyles and, also, in
seeing historical and cultural attractions.

Brand perceptions
A destination means more than a place ant it must be perceived as offering experiences
and offering unique tourism products to travelers. In one study1, respondents were asked to
evaluate Canada relative to some competitors with the help of some attributes. This study was
realized with the help of long-haul travelers and it wanted to measure the perceptions of what
Canada has to offer, regardless of whether they have been to Canada or not.

Taking in consideration the results, Canada is on the first position when it comes to exploring its
geography and creating extraordinary experiences. Regarding the authenticity aspect, 63% of
them connected Canada with a place that offers an authentic experience. As we have previously
seen, the top product-interests for german travelers were seeing beautiful scenery and
experiencing a countrys unique character and local lifestyles. So, the germans expectations
coincide with the perceptions about Canada. This is an important aspect because that might
encourage germans to visit in order to satisfy their interests. Furthermore, this means that Canada


did a good job in identifying the interests of its target and promote them until they become
perceptions of the country.
Attraction of Canada
In order to measure what attracts german travelers to visit Canada, the respondents had to
answer at the question what intrigues or excites you most about a potential trip to Canada2 .
The responses were grouped in these categories: locations/ places to visit, nature/ scenery,
atmosphere, history/ culture, attractions, experiences, social gatherings, specific activities,
lifestyle, miscellaneous.

The main motivations in visiting Canada are visiting places and enjoying the nature scenery.
Only for 6% of the respondents culture/ history is one of the motives why they are interested in
visiting Canada.

Barriers to visiting Canada

2 Idem

One of the biggest barrier german travelers identify they have in visiting Canada is that it
is too expensive and too far. A third of the respondents think Canada is too expensive, one-infive (18%) think it is too far and 17% of them think it presents poor value for money.
The distance between Germany and Canada is more than 6 000 kilometers. For example,
the approximate travel time from Berlin to Ottawa is 7 hrs, 54 mins. So, the trip should be long
enough to be worth such a long flight.
On the other hand, Canada is one of the largest country in the world. For visiting it
travelers should take a trip of at least 2 weeks. Another barrier identified is that germans dont
have enough time to take a vacation.

For the young respondents aged between 18 and 34 years old the cost of travelling is an
important barrier (44%), but only 25% of adults aged between 35 and 54 identified this as a
problem. Also, younger travelers said that they dont have enough time to take a long vacation
(20%) (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2014).

Influential sources
The main sources that influence german travelers are friends and family (80%), travel
agents (73) and travel guide books (69%) (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2014).

There are some differences between the age groups. For example, the younger travelers
recognize websites as an influential source (59%). The travelers aged 55+ identify travel guides
or books as an influential source .
Regarding the booking travel, there are different ways. More than half (52%) of german
travelers booked their flight online through a travel agency or online retailer and 39 % of them
directly with the airlines.

Activities participated in
The respondents were asked to select from a list of activities the ones they practiced on
their last holiday. In this way, we can identify the main activities that german tourists are
interested in.

The most popular activities were hiking (48%) and guided city tours (43%). 39% of the
respondents showed interest in wildlife viewing. The least interesting activities for the german
tourists in Canada are scuba diving and snorkeling (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2014).

Recent visitors to Canada also prefer activities like cycling (19%), camping (15%),
fishing (14%) which are outdoor activities. This suggests that Canada is a destination where
tourists can enjoy different outdoor activities.
The high season is from May to September, this is a period when the weather in Canada
is nicer. Also, from June the children are on holiday so they can travel with their parents and/or
The average expenditure per trip was 5 700, which includes the flights, the
accommodation and all the activities.
Regarding the places visited, the respondents identified the main places they had the
opportunity to visit (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2014).

National parks were one of the favourite places to visit for german travelers. Almost half
of them (48%) visited historic site and 45% of the respondents took a walk in the city parks.
There were tourists who showed interest in cultural places such as art galleries (18%).

Type of accommodation
The type of accommodation differences on the age group. For tourists aged between 35
and 54 years old the most popular choice was mid-priced hotel (39%). Only 13% of them were
staying at friends or relatives places. On the other hand, the younger travelers aged between 18
and 34 years old were interested in more affordable accommodation such as staying at friends or
relatives (23%), budget hotels (21%), camping (8%) or staying in a university or school
dormitory (10%).

Party composition
Tourists aged over 55 have travelled with a spouse (71%) and less than half of travelers
aged 18 to 34 years old traveled with a spouse or partner (43%). The younger travelers also
traveled with friends (25%), with parents (13%) or alone (16%).

Sharing experiences
During their holiday in Canada, 82% of recent visitors shared their trip experiences while
travelling. Many of them used the web to check more activities and to find more places to visit
(28%). German travelers show an interest in sharing photos or videos via email (28%), but also
on social media (28%) (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2014).
After returning home from their trip to Canada, 92% of recent visitors shared their travel
experiences. Traditional means remain the dominant form of advocacy, more than three quarters
(78%) will share their experience with friends and family, a quarter (26%) of them will share
photos or videos via email and 21% of them will share their experience on social media.

Proposals for increasing the number of german tourists who travel to Canada
In order to increase the number of german tourists who decide to have a holiday in
Canada we will present in the following section a few proposals that will help in this matter.
Firstly, there should be a main target market that the tourism agencies would take more in
consideration. We decided that could be better, for this destination, that senior tourists will fit
best because they have more free time (most people over 60 are retired already) and can enjoy
Canada for a proper time period. Also, senior consumers seems to became larger and larger
which make this segment more appealing for service providers.
At the same time, another key aspect to this target market is that, even though, they are
have a certain age, they want to feel young and want to experiment a lot of new things. Their
desire is to see a lot of new places, to fulfill they lifetime`s dreams and because, they are retired
now, they have the time to do so. Senior market is also appealing because, senior citizen travel
into big groups of people which include a bigger profit for the service providers. Especially
german tourists are known to be fond of travelling into big groups.
The first proposal in order to achieve our main objective is to create special holiday
packages that last more than two weeks. Canada, as touristic destination, is very vast and needs

more than two weeks to visit all and because is a long haul trip, many travellers want to make the
most of it. So, the solution to this problem should be creating packages that allow the tourist to
have an amazing experience and to see the whole country with all its regions. Usually, long haul
trip are avoided by mid aged tourists because it takes a lot of time to get to the destination, and if
the destination is complex they don`t have enough time to visit everything and that is why we are
proposing that seniors should be the main target.
Because our proposed target usually travels in large groups, they can be easily attracted to
a destination by special offers and prices for big groups. It is known that german tourists,
especially, senior citizens like to go in their holidays accompanied by many people with whom
they communicate and share the same experiences. Canada, as we`ve seen in the previous
sections, is one of the most wanted long haul travel destinations and, in order to make that desire
into a real purchase, special offers and keys could be the perfect output.
The next proposal is related to how the destination should be promoted. We think that
Canada needs to get more coverage in the tourism fairs. Most of seniors are going to tourism
fairs in order to plan their trips or just to get information about some destination. Canada is not
that present in this type of events and this leads to lack of knowledge about the destination and
furthermore, lack of tourists in that area. Even though the desire can reach high level, because
there are not a lot of information available, tourists are sceptics if they will go there or not.
Also, related to promotion and information, the next proposal is to create more brochures
that will be available in tourism agencies. In this moment, tourism agencies can offer information
about only one region of Canada and if one would like to travel throughout the country may need
to visit a lot of tourism agencies in order to gather all of the information that is necessary to plan
a trip. The brochure will have all the information needed about the health department, visa and
everything that has been uncertain for the public. In order to attract the target market, tourism
agencies should be able to offer all the information that is essential for the decision making.
Nowadays tourism is based on authentic experiences, the tourists want to be part of the
society they are visiting and they want to be one with the local spirit. So, the next proposal is to
create tours that can make the canadian experience more authentic. These tours can have special
activities that represent the canadian spirit and also, encounters with the locals which are the


essence of the canadian experience. Locals can help tourist understand about the canadian culture
and make them feel part of it. The key to a beautiful experience is to be part of the culture that
you are going to.
Regarding the accommodation, there should be more types of accommodation available
for large groups of people who have may have the same preferences. Related to a previous
proposal, the price should be affordable because one of the biggest barrier was that Canada is a
very expensive destination and most tourist are not willing to pay. Types of accommodation like
ranches or wilderness lodges which can offer an authentic experience could be the perfect
solution for the senior tourists that want to go to Canada.

German long-haul travelers interests in beautiful scenery, unique character and local
lifestyle are satisfied by the perceptions of Canada as a destination which offers extraordinary
personal travel experiences. Furthermore, the brand of Canada sells outstanding natural beauty
with unique experiences which can be enjoyed outdoor and this aspect will continue to attract
german tourists.
Beside the natural beauty, german travelers need to know more about what else Canada
has to offer. This is an opportunity to improve education and promotion about Canadas history
and heritage, as well as cultural depth. Regarding cultural and historic attractions we can identify
lack of information and this aspect can be improved.
To conclude, we might say that this paper had the aim to present the tendencies that have
been found through german travelers to Canada and offered a few proposals to increase the
number of tourists that choose to spend their holiday in this destination. Proposals for promotion,
accommodation and also for target market had a high ranked importance because, knowing your
target market helps you increase your profit.


Aln, Elisa, Nieves Losada, and Trinidad Domnguez. New opportunities for the tourism market:
Senior tourism and accessible tourism. INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2012.