Resident Sentiment Indexes
- Islanders continue to be very likely to be welcoming of local visitors. Throughout the study (Jul. 13th to Sept. 20th), approximately 92%-94% of respondents stated they would welcome visitors from “communities near me” and “other parts of my province”.
- Resident sentiment towards welcoming visitors from “other Atlantic Canadian provinces” rebounded during Wave 4, achieving a new high with 88% of Islanders stating they would welcome visitors from other Atlantic Canadian provinces.
- The proportion of Islanders that are likely to welcome visitors from “other parts of Canada” dropped for the second Wave in a row to 27% from a high of 33% during Wave 3 (Aug. 10 to Aug. 23). The resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country and the relative success of the provinces within the “Atlantic Bubble” may be affecting these results.
- The majority of Islanders continue to be opposed to welcoming visitors from “the United States”. Approximately 74% of respondents indicated that they are “strongly opposed” to welcoming visitors from the US. That being said, the percentage of respondents that indicated they would welcome visitors from the US reached a new high at 7% during Wave 5.
- Islanders are also very likely to be opposed to welcoming visitors from “other countries” with 65% indicating they are “strongly opposed” and an additional 18% stating they are “somewhat opposed”.
Level of Comfort Towards Travelling
- Islanders’ level of comfort towards travelling within the Atlantic Bubble continues to improve throughout the duration of this study.
– Islanders’ level of comfort travelling “to other communities near me” climbed from 93% during Wave 1 (Jul. 13 to Jul. 26) to a high of 98% during Wave 5 (Sept. 7 to Sept. 20)
– Islanders’ level of comfort travelling “to other parts of my province” increased from 91% during Wave 1 to 97% during Wave 5.
– Islanders’ level of comfort travelling “to other Atlantic Canadian provinces” increased from 40% during Wave 1 to a high of 76% during Wave 5.
- Islanders remain largely uncomfortable with travelling outside of the Atlantic bubble.
– 17% indicated they are comfortable travelling to “other parts of Canada” (up from 14% during Wave 4), 71% indicated they are uncomfortable. Mean scores for this “level of comfort” index continues to improve each Wave but only marginally.
– Almost all Islanders indicated that they are “very uncomfortable” travelling to the “United States” (88%).
– The majority of Islanders indicated that they are “very uncomfortable” travelling to “other countries” (78%).
Level of Comfort Towards Activities
- There was not much movement in Islanders’ level of comfort towards visitor activities during Wave 5, but most have trended upward throughout the study.
- Wave 5 results indicate a positive trend in the level of comfort towards:
– “Dinning in at restaurants” – 85% indicated they were comfortable with this activity versus 77% during Wave 1.
– “Shopping at the mall” – 81% indicated they were comfortable with this activity versus 72% during Wave 1.
– “Staying overnight at fixed-roof accommodations” – 76% indicated they were comfortable with this activity versus 68% during Wave 1.
– “Attending large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, or festivals outdoors” – 51% indicated they were comfortable with this activity versus 36% during Wave 1.
– “Going to bars, lounges, night clubs, pubs” – 27% indicated they were comfortable with this activity versus 17% during Wave 1.
– “Attending large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, or festivals indoors” – 26% indicated they were comfortable with this activity versus 13% during Wave 1.
Conditions for Safe Travel and Visitor Confidence
- The “availability of a COVID-19 vaccine” remains the most significant factor to improve visitor confidence (81%). This has been consistently followed by “the number of active COVID-19 cases is declining in the area I am interested in visiting” (62%) and “a treatment for COVID-19 is available” (60%).
COVID-19’s Affect on Your Next Holiday and Destination Attributes
- The importance of ensuring and communicating the safety and cleanliness of destinations for Island visitors is paramount. There does not appear to be a single action or measure that can be taken to satisfy this need. Islanders appear to expect a mix of measures be put in place.
– 98% of respondents indicated the “cleanliness and sanitation at the destination” was important to them.
– 98% stated “feeling safe at the destination” was important to them.
– 88% of Islanders stated they would “avoid crowds”.
– 85% indicated that they will seek out “locations employing strong public health and safety practices”.
- COVID-19 has created conditions that will likely put pressure on capturing visitor yield from Island residents.
– 45% say they will spend less. This is down from 53% during Wave 3, the second decline in a row for this index.
– 55% say they will limit social interaction and daily activities. This is down from a high of 65% during Wave 1.
– 69% say they will avoid attractions.
– Only 10% say they will fill their day with as many attractions and activities as possible
- It appears that Islanders are price-sensitive and risk-averse due to COVID-19. Flexible operator cancellation policies (95%), ease of trip cancellation (95%), and reasonable prices (93%) were all amongst the top five ranked destination attributes sought by Islanders.
Short-term Travel Intentions
- As expected, short-term travel intentions fell for the second Wave in a row as we move out of the peak season and into the fall shoulder.
- 66% of Islanders indicated that they plan on taking a trip (same-day or overnight) within the province between September and November. This is down from a high of 80% during Wave 3.
- 40% of Islanders indicated that their trip will include an overnight stay.
- Short-term intention rates for staying at a “Hotel/Motel/Resort” continue to improve, reaching 42% during Wave 5 from a low of 30% during Wave 2.
- Short-term intention rates for “camping” took a notable drop to 24% from 43% during Wave 4, and rates for staying at the “home of friends or relatives” took a notable jump to 28% from 17% during Wave 4.
Activities to be Participated in While Travelling in the Short-term
- In the short-term, “visiting friends and/or relatives” (81%) and “dining in restaurants” (81%) are the two most likely activities that Islanders stated they will participate in.
- Wave 5 saw declining interest in many activities as we come out of the summer season.
– Likelihood of going to the beach, visiting a provincial or national park, sampling local culinary products, shopping for local crafts/souvenirs/antiques, visiting historical and cultural attractions, participating in water-based activities, and visiting a theme, fun or amusement park all experienced notable drops during Wave 5.