May 1, 2020 Ethnicity Matters

The Ethnic Tourist Opportunity At Your Doorstep

My hypothesis has been that consumers, in general, won’t want to or possibly even be allowed to hop on any airplanes this summer. The article below from The Economist supports this. The Cabin fever by families will fuel the desire to escape as a family. The answer is hop in the car and explore local, i.e. Ontario. This will be amplified in the homes of Newcomers to the country who over index versus mainstream consumers in their desire to explore their new home Country – Canada. Tourist destinations have not necessarily reached out to local ethnic consumers in their language and cultural media. Yes, sometime in the future there will be a return of international tourists like the Chinese that require special marketing and customer experiences – but not this year.

Tourist operators should not ignore the opportunity at their doorsteps, be it ethnic consumerism in Ontario or the rest of Canada. One in five Canadians is foreign-born. That is equivalent to the population of the Province of Quebec. Not only do they have the money, they also have larger households. So if you convince one ethnic family to come to visit you, it’s a larger number of bedrooms and or ticket sales. If we focus on the largest ethnic group-South Asians, who tend to travel in multiple family groups of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends, that would further amplify the opportunity.

Covid 19 has caused upheaval in the tourist industry. For many operators, there is little they can do while we are self-isolating, but that doesn’t mean that smart business people shouldn’t be planning for the return to a new normal at this moment. The new reality will open up a door of opportunity to Canadian ethnic consumers. It is time to roll out the welcome sign and reach out to them.

Howard Lichtman

Partner & Co-Founder

Source: Economist