After a softer August, September's Pigeon River border crossings jumped substantially this year, bringing optimism for a return to traditional US travel market levels. At a time when many destination marketing organizations in Canada have written off US markets or continued with shotgun campaigns, our approach to targeting the travel motivations of the 7.1 million passport holders in the US midwest appears to have been paying off.
September 2009 saw 10, 332 U.S. residents cross into the Thunder Bay District from Pigeon River, up 12% from 9,124 the previous September.
Same day and 2 plus night overnight visits increased by 5% and 17% respectively while single night overnight trips dropped 15%. Same day travel was responsible for 19% of traffic (1,944), single overnight stays at 5% (417) and 2 plus night travel made up 77% (7,971) of U.S. travel to the district. A larger percentage of U.S.visitors are staying longer in the district, increasing economic impacts.
Shifts in our U.S. based marketing programs towards avid touring and outdoor experience seekers, innovative partnerships with OTMPC into the Madison and St Paul markets and direct initiatives by other tourism partners in the city and area such as the Fort William Historical Park Canada Gateway Center are likely the main reasons behind this positive trend and demonstrate the importance of using consumer travel motivator data as the basis for tourism marketing strategies.