Destinations

Canadian visitors to the U.S. love those long Florida and Arizona vacations

@denschaal

Nov 26, 2012 11:27 am

Skift Take

If you are in Florida and Arizona and trying to attract Canadian tourists, forget weekend getaways and focus on long, extended stays in the sun.

— Dennis Schaal

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Sam Howzit  / Flickr.com

Canada trinkets on sale at Epcot. Sam Howzit / Flickr.com


Winter-ravaged Canadians love those warm-weather U.S. states for vacations, and they increased their year-round visitor spending in 2011 when staying stateside for at least one night 14.7% to $16.4 billion.

That’s one of the findings of theĀ U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, which just released its numbers on Canadian visitor spending and nights per visit in the U.S. for 2011. (See state-by-state analysis below.)

In fact, among the five top states for Canadian visitor spending (Florida, New York, California, Nevada and Arizona), only in New York is it impossible to work on your tan in all seasons.

However, the suntan lotion might have been optional for Canadian visitors to Nevada, which attracted nearly $1.4 billion in spending from these vacationers in 2011, considering that they likely spent a lot of time in Las Vegas, fending off the darker allures of neon and blackjack.

Lengthy stays of 18 nights on average were the norm for Canadians’ visits in 2011 to Florida and Arizona, while California, Nevada and New York averaged 8.9, 4.7 and 2.8 nights, respectively.

New York, it seems, was merely deemed worthy of a long-weekend respite, with its 2.8-night average stay.

The states that saw the largest percentage increases in Canadian visitor aggregate spending in 2011 were Montana (48%), South Carolina (37%), Michigan (31%), Washington (27%), and North Carolina (22%), although Montana, South Carolina and North Carolina each failed to crack the 1,000 Canadian visitor mark.

The five most popular states for Canadians — the ones that drew the most visitors in 2011 — were New York, Florida, Washington, Michigan, and Nevada.

Overall, the number of Canadian visits to the U.S. of one night or more increased 6.9% in 2011 to 21.3 million.

State Total Canadian
Visitors (000s)
Nights per visit Spending in $000s
(for visits of 1+ nights)
Change in spending from 2010
NEW YORK 3,701 2.8 1,389,286 14%
FLORIDA 3,319 18 4,029,060 14%
WASHINGTON 2,587 2.9 763,083 27%
MICHIGAN 1,542 2.9 440,756 31%
NEVADA 1,481 4.7 1,366,097 21%
CALIFORNIA 1,476 8.9 1,376,037 5%
MAINE 947 3.3 352,025 16%
PENNSYLVANIA 926 2.6 259,758 12%
MONTANA 888 3.8 314,839 48%
NORTH DAKOTA 767 2.1 246,121 20%
ARIZONA 704 17.9 815,982 9%
MASSACHUSETTS 678 3.7 301,731 10%
MINNESOTA 676 2.6 227,935 3%
VERMONT 663 2.8 144,993 0%
VIRGINIA 633 3.5 148,621 12%
SOUTH CAROLINA 565 7.4 352,728 37%
OHIO 550 2.8 149,813 9%
ILLINOIS 503 3.8 257,351 13%
NORTH CAROLINA 432 4.2 146,558 22%
TEXAS 419 13.4 342,847 0%

Source: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries

Note: Dan Nguyen contributed to this report

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