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Driving Holidays in North America - October 2013

North America is a continent tailor-made for a driving holiday. Its tourism infrastructure – from hotels to highways – grew up around the development of the automobile and for those who like exploring a country on four wheels, it is the ultimate destination.

Canada and the US have modern highways and a network of scenic back roads that give easy access to a multitude of widely differing tourist attractions – from wineries to theme parks to ‘living history’ museums evoking the early days of the automobile. Bustling, cosmopolitan cities link ever-changing landscapes – from the vast, open spaces of the American and Canadian west, to the beachside resorts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The US alone ranks as one of the most visited destinations in the world, second only to France. In 2012, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it registered 67 million international tourist arrivals. Of those, 34% were Canadians. Canada too ranks as one of the world’s leading destinations. In 2012, it attracted 16 million foreign visitors – 11.9 million of whom were Americans, according to the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • Overview – A Thumbnail Sketch of North America

        • The US
          • The US economy
            • Canada
              • The Canadian economy
              • A Continent Built by Cars

                • The early beginnings
                  • The birth of the road trip
                    • The automobile in popular culture
                      • Motivations for taking a driving holiday
                        • The auto industry’s contribution to the economy
                        • North America’s Highway System

                          • The US
                            • Highway maintenance
                              • National Scenic Byways
                                • Speed limits
                                  • Rules of the road
                                    • Driving is getting safer
                                      • Canada
                                        • Highway maintenance
                                          • Speed limits
                                          • International Tourist Arrivals in North America

                                            • World’s top 10 tourism destinations
                                              • Figure 1: World’s top 10 tourism destinations, 2009-12
                                            • Leading source markets – US
                                              • Figure 2: Top 10 source markets for international travel to the US, 2009-12
                                              • Figure 3: Top 10 source markets for international travel to Canada, 2012
                                            • Friendly neighbours
                                            • Domestic Travel and How They Get There

                                              • The US
                                                • Figure 4: Domestic travel & tourism spending in the US, 2008-13*
                                              • Canada
                                                • Figure 5: Trips by Canadians within Canada, by province & territory, 2011
                                                • Figure 6: Domestic travel & tourism spending in Canada, 2008-13
                                              • Mode of transport
                                                • Inbound US
                                                  • Figure 7: Mode of transport of Canadian tourists travelling to the US, 2007-11
                                                • Inbound Canada
                                                  • Figure 8: Mode of transport of US residents travelling to Canada, 2008-12
                                                • Fly/drive packages
                                                • Car Ownership Versus Car Rental

                                                  • The car is king
                                                    • Auto sales recover
                                                      • Car-rental revenues rise
                                                        • Figure 9: Revenues generated by short-term car rentals in the US & Canada, 2008-13
                                                      • Fleet sizes return to pre-recession levels
                                                        • Young drivers like to rent
                                                        • Market Factors Affecting Driving Holidays

                                                          • The cost of petrol and travel decisions
                                                            • Leave entitlement
                                                              • Short breaks
                                                              • The Rate of Exchange and Cross-border Travel

                                                                  • Figure 10: Exchange rates between the US & Canadian dollars, 2003-13*
                                                                • Cross-border shopping
                                                                  • The need for documentation
                                                                  • Popular Driving Destinations in North America

                                                                      • The US
                                                                        • Figure 11: Top 10 states in the US visited by Canadian tourists, 2012
                                                                      • New York State
                                                                        • Florida
                                                                          • The snowbirds flee south
                                                                            • Figure 12: Canadian tourists who travel to Florida, by mode of transport, 2007-11
                                                                          • California
                                                                            • Michigan
                                                                              • Canada
                                                                                • Quebec
                                                                                  • Ontario
                                                                                    • Alberta
                                                                                    • Accommodation Choices of Driving Holidaymakers

                                                                                        • Hotel construction continues
                                                                                          • Figure 13: Tourist accommodation in Canada & the US, showing changes over a 10-year period, 2005-14*
                                                                                        • Motels – quintessential American hostelries
                                                                                        • Camping and Caravanning

                                                                                          • The Cars of the Future

                                                                                            • Science fiction or science fact?
                                                                                            • What Next?

                                                                                              Driving Holidays in North America - October 2013

                                                                                              US $377.39 (Excl.Tax)