VANCOUVER — Destination Canada, the University of Guelph and the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) have teamed up to support tourism researchers across Canada, it was announced Nov. 4. The partnership includes both a funding component and an open tourism research database where researchers can access thousands of raw datasets.
The database includes over 52 million data points about travelers’ perceptions of Canada, representing survey results from just over 118,000 people surveyed from 2007-2013.
In addition, in partnership with the TTRA and University of Guelph, Destination Canada is offering one or more grants to support the advancement of Canadian tourism research. Researchers from any Canadian academic institution can apply for funding of up to $10,000 for tourism-related projects.
“This program allows us to bring ‘big data’ to tourism researchers, for the first time ever,” said Chantz Strong, Destination Canada's executive director of consumer and market intelligence, in a release. “We are really looking forward to working with the successful applicants to improve the quality and quantity of tourism-related research in Canada.”
Research projects should focus on the evolution of Canada's tourism brand, in particular how external events (political, economic, social media or other) have an effect on perceptions over time, and how those perceptions influence destination choice.
Grant recipients will be asked to present their findings at the next TTRA International conference in June 2017, in Quebec City or at the TTRA Canada Conference, in Halifax.