Sheila Johnson

In January, I had the opportunity to attend a six day intensive workshop on Cultural Tourism presented by the University of Victoria. Cultural Tourism will dominate the tourism market for the next two decades and will have a profound impact on our visitation at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Given its importance, Cultural Tourism will be the theme of my articles for the 2010 season.

“By the year 2020, the combined Canadian/U.S. population between the ages of 55 and 74 will swell to 83.5 million - a 39 percent increase from 2008. This is the Canadian/U.S. baby boom - the most affluent and educated generation in North American History. Boomers are driving the market for cultural tourism today. Once retired, they will drive it for years to come.

In Canada today, Tourism is a 75 billion dollar industry and 80% of that is generated by Canadians touring Canada. Two developing factors are changing the demand for tourism products. First, as indicated in the opening quote, boomers in North America began to have more leisure time commencing in 1992. With this freedom, boomers with means are travelling more, but the purpose of their travel has changed from escapism to enrichment. A growing majority are travelling to experience and learn from different cultures, generating an increased demand for cultural products. Tourists travelling primarily for cultural reasons are called cultural tourists and they can...