A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: Results for 2007 and 2008 Cruise Ship Seasons Prepared by: The Tourism Research Centre School of Business University of PEI Date: April 28, 2009 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................................................ 1 1. ORIGIN OF PASSENGER TRAVEL PARTIES ................................................................ 4 2. COMPOSITION OF PASSENGER TRAVEL PARTIES .................................................. 5 3. GENDER AND AGE OF PASSENGERS ........................................................................... 6 4. TYPE OF VISITATION ...................................................................................................... 7 5. LAST TRIP TO PEI ............................................................................................................. 8 6. NUMBER OF TIMES VISITED PEI IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS ................................ 9 7. PAID ORGANIZED SHORE EXCURSION .................................................................... 10 8. NAME OF PAID ORGANIZED SHORE EXCURSION ................................................. 11 9. ACTIVITIES PARTICIPATED IN: TOP FIVE ................................................................ 13 10. MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION USED WHILE IN PEI ........................................... 15 11. TRIP DURATION IN PEI ................................................................................................ 17 12. EXPENDITURES ............................................................................................................. 18 13. RATING OF TRAVEL SERVICES .................................................................................. 20 14. PERCEPTIONS OF TRAVEL EXPERIENCE IN PEI ................................................. 21 15. INTENTION TO RETURN TO VACATION IN PEI................................................... 23 16. INSTANCES OF COMPLAINTS ..................................................................................... 24 17. DEMOGRAPHICS OF SURVEY RESPONDENT ......................................................... 27 17.1. GENDER .................................................................................................................................. 27 17.2. AGE ......................................................................................................................................... 27 17.3. MARITAL STATUS .................................................................................................................... 28 17.4. EDUCATION ............................................................................................................................ 29 17.5. EMPLOYMENT STATUS ........................................................................................................... 29 17.6. ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME ............................................................................................. 30 18. COMMENTS REGARDING THE TRIP ........................................................................ 32 APPENDIX I: METHODOLOGY i A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report is a profile of cruise ship passengers visiting Prince Edward Island during the 2007 and 2008 cruise ship seasons. It is based on the results of detailed surveys undertaken by the Tourism Research Centre. Certain patterns and trends are highlighted, and suggestions are offered to advance the cruise ship visitor experience. The expanded docking facilities and promotion of Charlottetown Harbour resulted in a substantial increase in cruise traffic and commerce. While 16 ships docked in the capital in 2007, 36 visited in 2008. In the second year of the survey, these vessels carried 58,678 passengers and 26,567 crew members. The number of passengers alone represented a 203.1 percent increase in 2008. The total direct expenditures of passengers for both years combined was an estimated $3,726,341 CAD, with 2008 showing a 290 percent increase over the year before. Again, the estimated average spending per travel party, passengers and crew combined, increased by 29.5 percent. Survey analysis focused on passenger travel parties, which, in 2008, averaged 2.45 persons per party. Of these 23,950 passenger groups, over 80 percent declared the United States as their usual place of residence. This trend remained constant over both years. It distinguished these travellers as a cultural group from most overnight visitors to PEI, whose origins were in other parts of Canada (89%, according to the 2007- 2008 exit survey results for the full year). By far, the greatest majority of passenger travel parties in 2008 were composed of mature adults in the 55 years or more age group (69%), who typically travelled in pairs (69.5%). In contrast, according to the 2007-2008 exit survey results for the full year, only 30 percent of the overnight travelling parties in PEI were in this age group. The most noticeable shifts within passenger travel parties occurred in 2008 in the 35 to 54 years age group, which virtually doubled to 22.4 percent, and in the incidence of families (0.9% to 8.0%). These increases may be due at least partially to the different time periods in which the surveys were conducted in the two years, but it may bear watching. Most passenger parties in 2008 (84.5%) identified themselves as first-time visitors to PEI. Again, this was in stark contrast to the average, main season overnight visitor to PEI, of whom the vast majority were repeat travellers. In practical terms, this means that the 20,240 passenger travel parties who disembarked in the capital would have had no first-hand knowledge of the inhabitants or local geography of their port of call, nor of the history, culture, or landscape of the province. There are many opportunities to be explored here. New and vivid ways to present PEI’s history, environment, and culture could create a deep and long-lasting first impression. Over the survey period, the average time for on-shore visits increased from four hours to six. Still, many passengers commented that they would like to have had more time. Among the paid, organized shore excursions available, over two-thirds of passenger travelling parties in 2008 purchased the Panoramic Island Drive and Anne of Green Gables Tour. This was most frequently chosen of all such excursions (55.6 %), an increase of 20.6 percent in “The Year of Anne.” Perhaps a larger selection may attract some of the remaining 33.3 percent who did not opt for such tours last year. Among the three most popular activities in 2008 were walking tours of the capital and visits to historic sites (and countryside), shopping, and dining and culinary experiences. Costs may not have 1 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS been the sole factor in passengers’ choices, given their preferences for shopping and fine dining. That said, there were comments on the high costs of goods and services in PEI compared to other ports. This impression reflects the ratings for similar travel services from the 2007-2008 exit survey: Though not a poor rating, it was the lowest rated of the six options regarding level of satisfaction with travel services and quality. For most of their transportation needs, passenger travel parties relied on purchased, organized tours or walking. Increased use of public transit and rented cars may reflect the preferences of some senior travellers for less strenuous ways of sightseeing. Most passengers were retired, professional and well-educated, and reported annual incomes from $40,000 to $125,000 or more. Shopping led expenditures in 2008, accounting for 39.5 percent of the total average spending per person, followed by organized bus tours and restaurants. Despite the larger incomes reported by most survey participants that year, shopping dropped very slightly. Many commented that this would improve if shops were open on Sundays and shoulder seasons; if there were more quality items; more selection in merchandise; and improved access to local arts, crafts, and foods. Better local transportation, such as a shuttle service between landing and city, was also recommended. Every measure was positive for how participating passengers perceived their visiting experience in PEI; 2008 was exceptional, showing improvement in every indicator. PEI scored 4 out of 5 as “one of the better destinations visited.” PEI’s travel services and quality also received very good ratings from passenger travel parties in most areas, although prices and variety of things to see and do still lagged noticeably behind. In addition to the observations above, some passengers commented that more could be done in the way of eco-tourism, local products, arts, crafts, music, and historical information. Such attractions could benefit residents and visitors alike. In their roughly 230 comments, passengers first praised the friendliness of PEI citizens, and next, the beauty of the natural and built environment. Still, competition to provide more attractive experiences for future cruise ship visits is likely to increase among all ports of call. Such enhancements as diversifying activities and customizing products would likely be appreciated by cruise ship travellers, and help to sustain long-term relationships with the cruise-ship lines. 2 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS Table 1: Overview of Visitation and Expenditures % Point 2007 2008 Total Change over 2007 Number of Ships a 16 36 52 125.0% Number of Passengers a 19,358 58,678 78,036 203.1% Number of Crew a * 8,882 26,567 35,449 199.1% Number of Passenger Travel Parties b 7,934 23,950 31,884 201.9% Average Passenger Travel Party b 2.44 2.45 2.45 0.4% Average Spending per Party b $95.14 $123.20 $116.86 29.5% Average Spending per Person b $39.04 $50.27 $47.75 28.8% Total Direct Expenditures estimated b ** $755,732 $2,949,750 $3,726,341 290.3% Note: 1)a Actual numbers provided by Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. and Tourism PEI. 2) * Crew members were not considered for further analysis in this report. 3) b Estimated numbers were based on the results of the “Survey of Cruise Ship Passengers and Crew.” 4) ** Total direct expenditures estimated were calculated as follows: Number of passengers × average spending per person. 3 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 1. ORIGIN OF PASSENGER TRAVEL PARTIES By far, the greatest proportion of travel parties that disembarked in Prince Edward Island in 2007 and 2008 reported the United States as their country of origin, that is, their usual place of residence. This high share of U.S. passengers (over 82%) remained stable throughout the two-year survey, holding steady even when the number of travel parties increased from 7,934 to 23,950 over the same period. A notable shift occurred in the proportion of travel parties of Canadian origin compared to those from other countries, as surveyed between 2007 and 2008. The number of Canadian parties had decreased by 2.9 percent to 7.5 percent in 2008, while those from other countries gained 2.5 percent, to achieve a 9.9 percentage point share of the total number of parties. Note: Data are based on the origin of the person who completed the survey for each travel party, rather than on the origins of all members of each travel party. 4 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 2. COMPOSITION OF PASSENGER TRAVEL PARTIES Parties of two adults accounted for the largest number of travel parties, with 77.8 percent travelling as couples in 2007, and somewhat fewer (69.5%) the following year. The next largest group, consisting of three or more adults, accounted for about 15 percent of travel parties for both years. For 2008, there was a slight increase in adults travelling alone, but the largest proportional increase in the composition of passenger travel parties is seen in the growing number of families choosing to travel together; this resulted in an almost 800 percent increase. Although family travel on board remained far behind that of adult couples and parties of three adults or more, it did exceed the number of adults travelling alone. A partial explanation for some of the difference could be the time of year the surveys were distributed. In 2007, the surveys were distributed in September and October, when children had just returned to school. In 2008, surveys were distributed in May and June, when some children may have already finished the school year. 5 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 3. GENDER AND AGE OF PASSENGERS Female passengers typically outnumbered males in both years. In 2008, the proportion of female passengers increased by 3.7 percent, and the percentage of males decreased proportionally. The age distribution among the four age-related categories formed characteristic patterns: cruise ship clientele were typically composed of mature adults (22.4% of passengers in the 35 to 54 age range, and 69% in the 55 or more set in 2008). These figures varied somewhat from 2007, but certainly the number of passengers in these age groups, and particularly those 55 years old or more, are significant. The most obvious shift occurred within the 35 to 54 years age group, which almost doubled (11.4% to 22.4%) in 2008. It is also likely a reflection of the increase in family cruise travel as this age group would be the ‘typical’ parenting age. The 18 to 34 age group is relatively small (3.6% in 2008). 6 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 4. TYPE OF VISITATION Most travel parties, by far, were visiting PEI for the first time. Although the percentage of returning travel parties is relatively low (15.5% in 2008), the total number of passenger parties in this category (3,712 parties) is not insignificant, and this number represents a 2.5 percent increase over 2007. There are direct implications for passenger travel parties arriving on shore for the first time. For example, there are practical needs to consider: new arrivals need help to orient themselves in their immediate local setting, and to locate transportation. These survey results indicate that this was true especially for many who wanted to explore the capital or go shopping. Some passengers commented that they would appreciate a more obvious welcome, a shuttle service, and maps directing them to special districts, such as shopping areas. It is especially significant that these first-time visitors have no direct, personal experience of PEI, its people, their history, culture, or natural environment. Yet they have to make decisions about what to do during their brief time on shore. What can be done to enhance their first impressions? Judging by the survey comments, some passengers felt that new ways will need to be explored, and resources developed, for visitors to better experience the cultural, historical, and natural features of the province. By identifying what is unique about PEI, and making it more accessible, visitors and residents could share vivid, substantial, and enduring perceptions of the province. 7 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 5. LAST TRIP TO PEI As recently as 2007, the majority of travel parties who returned to PEI (81.7%) were coming back after an absence of five or more years. However, survey results for the following year indicated changes in this “return passengers” trend. In 2008, only 45.5 percent had stayed away for the full five-year plus time period, in fact, more return parties were coming back to PEI after less time away. For example, 12.1 percent of return passengers were visiting again in 2008 after three years away, instead of 1.6 percent the year before. A full 15.1 percent came back within the same year, compared to 1.6 percent in 2007. More research would be required to determine why these intervals between visits are becoming shorter. For example, what attractions or experiences, if any, may be bringing these travel parties back sooner, and what implications may this have for providing for them. 8 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 6. NUMBER OF TIMES VISITED PEI IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS Most passenger travel parties who came to PEI in 2007 and 2008 came only once in the last five years. This finding was true for 80 percent of passengers in 2008. Only 13.3 percent had returned twice in the last five years, and only half that number again (6.7%) had returned three times within the same interval. Although 2008 saw a slight increase in the number of cruise ship visitors in this last category of more frequent returns within a five-year period, the surveys confirmed that most passenger parties who disembarked in PEI did so for the first time, and for those who were returning, their on-site experience of the province was relatively recent. 9 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 7. PAID ORGANIZED SHORE EXCURSION Once in port, two-thirds (66.7%) of passenger travel parties in 2008 reported that they had chosen paid organized shore excursions in that year, an increase from the 2007 figure of 57.8 percent. While 42.2 percent in 2007 did not pay for an organized shore excursion, fewer passenger travel parties (33.3%) made the same choice in 2008. Although a decrease in 2008, the rate is still substantial: 33.3 percent chose an alternative activity. Thus it is important to ask what else could be done to ensure that this “alternative time” would be interesting, satisfying, and memorable for these visitors. 10 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 8. NAME OF PAID ORGANIZED SHORE EXCURSION Passengers identified several short journeys that they took for pleasure on shore. Of all these excursions, the Panoramic Island Drive and Anne of Green Gables Tour by coach was the one most frequently chosen in both years. In 2008, just over 55 percent of passenger travel parties chose this excursion to tour the countryside, and to visit Green Gables National Historic Site (2008 was the centennial of the novel, from which the site took its name). This literary landscape near the province’s North Shore attracted an increase of 20.6 percent of passenger travel parties over the previous year. Within the capital city, Double Decker Bus Tours took 16.2 percent of passengers through Charlottetown in 2008. The percentage that took this organized shore-tour was only half that of the same excursion taken the previous year. Perhaps the relatively short length of shore leave allotted to passengers compelled them to choose between the Panoramic Drive (the coach tour into the countryside), and the Double Decker Bus Tour. With publicity and promotion around Green Gables as contributing factors, the Panoramic Coach Tour of the North Shore enjoyed a definite advantage in 2008. The next most popular excursion (13.4% in 2008) was the “Not Named” category, and may have included, for example, such relatively new excursions as the Confederation Bridge tour. Following this category was the Horse Drawn Trolley at 5.6 percent; this touch of Victoriana consists of a small, covered carriage, and is suitable for taking small parties through the historical streets and picturesque parks of Charlottetown. Excursions to Dalvay-by-the-Sea, a National Historic Site, complete with resort and fine dining, more than doubled (3.5%) from the previous year. The Walking Guide Tour declined substantially from 8.3 to 1.4 percent in 2008, raising the question as to whether such factors as rainy weather, lack of opportunity, or insufficient advertising were at work. Similar factors, as well as passenger demographics, may have accounted for the rather low participation (2.8%) in organized bicycling along the North Shore; however, bicycling tours had increased four-fold over the previous year. On the other hand, excursions in the Harbour Hippo, an amphibian vehicle, had decreased from 2.2 to 0.7 percent in 2008. The hiring of organized tours via mini van or taxi were tied for this last position at 0.7 percent, but other factors are likely at play here, given the rather different nature of these two excursions. Several passengers commented on how enjoyable their taxi tours were, but others commented that it was sometimes difficult to learn about, or book, such tours. 11 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 12 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 9. ACTIVITIES PARTICIPATED IN: TOP FIVE Cruise ship passengers explored a variety of activities during their stay on shore in PEI. Among the top five activities that they participated in were: walking tours of the city and visits to historic sites (often in countryside) (64.8%), shopping (39.4%), dining and culinary experience (32.4%), double- decker bus tours (15.5%), and driving tours taken in rental cars and/or taxis (15.5%). It is worth noting the clear preference that travellers demonstrated for exploring what the capital has to offer, and for seeking out PEI’s historic and special places within the landscape. Not only have these pursuits proven to be the most frequently cited things to do in both years, they have increased by 5.5 percent. Many passenger travel parties mentioned how much they admired the architecture and film at Province House. Similar opportunities, on a smaller scale perhaps, could be developed for other historic, architectural tours or cultural sites. Noting shopping as their second most frequent activity, these travellers demonstrated a strong interest in buying retail goods, and were willing to invest a significant part of their time on shore doing this. Some comments indicated, however, a perception that the prices of goods and services were on the high side. That said, a noteworthy and promising increase occurred in the area of dining, including fine dining. Passengers took advantage of PEI offerings in this area, citing this activity twice as often as in the previous year. Passenger comments indicated an eager market for local culinary experiences and foods, such as preserves and seafood. Certainly, visitors seek locally representative - and good quality - arts, crafts, artisanal foods, and similar products. The double-decker bus offered a tour of the city that did not require walking, of course, and travel parties cited this touring activity almost twice as frequently as they had the year before. Driving tours, including car rentals and taxis, in terms of the number of times they were cited were on equal footing with the bus tour. What is significant here is the rate of increase in this activity, which had tripled by 2008. Taken collectively, exploration of PEI’s natural, cultural, and historical resources, followed by shopping and dining, seemed to be the preferred activities for these travellers. 13 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 14 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 10. MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION USED WHILE IN PEI Since most passengers were arriving in PEI for the first time, it is not surprising that they rarely had transportation supplied by friends or relatives, and instead depended on purchased or hired transportation, or on their own efforts, such as walking. Organized coach tours and walking were the most popular choices, and represent perhaps the most readily available means of getting from one place to another at this port of call. Coaches, especially, enable passengers to tour the countryside comfortably and to visit typically advertised and unique cultural and historical sites, famous beaches and resorts. The notable increase in the use of coach travel in 2008 may also be related to tours of Green Gables, the literary landscape located in Cavendish, and celebrated as a key heritage site in “The Year Of Anne,” marking the 100th anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s world-famous book, Anne of Green Gables. Walking allows for a much closer exploration of whatever area one is visiting. Since 57.8 percent of passenger travel parties cited this method of exploring their port of call, there are many possibilities along the way for engaging their attention and enriching their visit. The increasing popularity of public transit is reflected in the 3.1 percent rise in its use, from 6.4 percent in 2007 to 9.5 percent in 2008. An increase in routes may be an asset here. A shuttle service from the dock, or point of landing, to the heart of the city could benefit these passenger travel parties, and several recommended such a service. While the use of car rental was only half as frequent as that of public transportation, more travel parties tended to rent cars in 2008. Touring by car rental enables passengers a greater degree of freedom in itinerary, privacy, and flexibility than other forms of travel. An investigation into the supply of vehicles vs. demand might be warranted, as well as accessibility. “Other” means of travel, such as taxis, were also used on par with car rentals, but were cited less in 2008. Bicycles were rarely used, and this means of travel experienced a small decline in 2008. 15 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 16 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 11. TRIP DURATION IN PEI Cruise ship passengers - and their hosts in PEI - have to make the most of their time together: although the average length of stay has increased over the two survey years, from about four hours to six, this leaves little time for first-time visitors to get their bearings and to have a unique and memorable PEI experience. First encounters may be one-chance events for this clientele. Clearly it is in everyone’s interests that their experience is positive. The current increase in the length of time that travellers stay in PEI provides opportunities for passengers to participate in a greater variety of activities, and to take advantage of Island hospitality and services. Still, approximately 14 percent of passenger travel parties commented that while they were pleased with the increase in shore-time, they would have preferred to have had even more. From the perspective of tourism industry operators, the substantial 35 percent increase in visitation time favours the expansion, diversification, and refinement of product and service options. Although there were a number of ships with short docking times in PEI in both years, three of the eleven ships in 2007 were in port from 8:00am to 1:30pm – an early start for many travellers. The docking times in 2008, however, were from 11:30am to 5:00pm, which could make a difference in the length of time spent on shore by passengers. 17 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 12. EXPENDITURES In terms of money spent in PEI, surveys conducted over 2007 and 2008 reveal a positive result. According to these findings, the estimated total of direct expenditures in PEI for cruise ship passengers in 2008 was over $2,949,750 CAD. This estimate was calculated on the total number of passengers multiplied by the average spending per person. This figure represents a 290.3 percent increase in revenue over 2007. Calculations based on the survey data confirmed and analyzed this increase in spending in the second year of cruise ship research. The total average spending per travelling party had increased from $95.14 to $123.20 in 2008, representing an increase of 29.5 percent. The records of expenditures calculated for different categories in 2007 and 2008 are indicated below in two ways: first, the average spending per person calculated for all cruise ship passengers in the categories indicated is shown, whether or not they reported spending in that particular category. Second, for the same period, the figures shown are the average expenditures per person in the same categories, based only on those passengers who actually reported spending in that category. For example, based on all passengers, in 2008 the total average spending by a person for an organized bus tour was $16.82 or 33.5 percent of their total expenditures; this amount also represented an increase of 35.2 percent over the amount that the individual would have spent on a bus tour the year before. Similarly, $6.51 (13.0%) was spent on restaurants, an 80.3 percent increase over the previous year. Vehicle operation and local transportation, including taxis, rose to $1.62 (3.2%). This figure is an increase of 174.6 percent, while the $2.20 (4.4%) spent on car rentals in PEI raised even more, by 441.5 percent. Shopping remained relatively steady at $19.87, a 7.6 percent increase over 2007, and a substantial 39.5 percent of the total average spending per person. Recreation and entertainment claimed only $0.78 (1.6%), a decrease of 2.5 percent for this category, while all remaining expenditures combined accounted for a total of $1.00 (2%), and these generally had decreased by 12.3 percent. Looking at those who reported spending in the categories, a comparison can be made of the total average spending per person in 2007, with figures from 2008. For example, in 2008, the total average spending per person overall was $56.77. Of that, $43.38 was spent on an organized bus tour, a 12.7 percent increase over the previous year. Restaurants claimed $14.18 per person, a 3.9 percent increase, while $6.12, a drop of 20.2 percent, was spent on food and beverages at stores. Reporting individuals spent, on average, $25.27 each on vehicle operation and local transportation, an increase of 34 percent. Money spent on car rentals also saw a 10.4 percent increase in 2008, at $31.38 per person. Shopping, a popular activity, showed an individual total average expenditure of $30.15, a decline of 0.4 percent from 2007. This drop, while small, is noteworthy, because 2008 passengers as a group appear to have had larger incomes at their disposal than those from the year before. Recreation and entertainment attracted $20.65 from each person in 2008, an increase of 45.1percent. 18 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS Table 2: Expenditures by Travel Passengers % Point 2007 2008 Total Change over 2007 7,934 24.9% 23,950 75.1% 31,884 100.0% 201.9% Total Direct Expenditures $755,732 $2,949,750 $3,726,341 290.3% Total Avg. Spending per Party $95.14 $123.20 $116.86 29.5% Total Number of Passengers 19,358 58,678 78,036 203.1% Categories of Spending a) Total Avg. Spending per Person $39.04 $50.27 $47.75 28.8% Organized Bus Tour $12.44 (31.9%) $16.82 (33.5%) $15.84 (33.2%) 35.2% Restaurants $3.61 (9.2%) $6.51 (13.0%) $5.86 (12.3%) 80.3% Food & Beverages at Stores $1.58 (4.0%) $1.45 (2.9%) $1.48 (3.1%) -8.2% Vehicle Operation & Local Transportation $0.59 (1.5%) $1.62 (3.2%) $1.39 (2.9%) 174.6% Car Rentals in PEI $0.41 (1.1%) $2.22 (4.4%) $1.82 (3.8%) 441.5% Shopping $18.47 (47.3%) $19.87 (39.5%) $19.55 (40.9%) 7.6% Recreation & Entertainment $0.80 (2.0%) $0.78 (1.6%) $0.78 (1.6%) -2.5% Other Expenditures $1.14 (2.9%) $1.00 (2.0%) $1.03 (2.2%) -12.3% Categories of Spending b) Total Avg. Spending per Person $45.23 $56.77 $54.17 25.5% Organized Bus Tour $38.49 $43.38 $42.43 12.7% Restaurants $13.65 $14.18 $14.10 3.9% Food & Beverages at Stores $7.67 $6.12 $6.45 -20.2% Vehicle Operation & Local Transportation $18.87 $25.27 $24.29 34.0% Car Rentals in PEI $28.43 $31.38 $31.14 10.4% Shopping $30.29 $30.15 $30.18 -0.4% Recreation & Entertainment $14.23 $20.65 $18.87 45.1% Other Expenditures $11.77 $11.49 $11.56 -2.4% Note: 1) Total direct expenditures estimated were calculated as follows: Number of passengers × average spending per person 2) a indicates average spending per person based on all passengers. 3) b indicates average spending per person based only on those passengers who reported spending on that category. 19 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 13. RATING OF TRAVEL SERVICES Passenger travel parties expressed satisfaction with the travel services available to them in PEI: on a scale of one to five for the average rating of each of six travel services, five out of six categories rated a score above four points. These results are very similar to those from the 2007-2008 exit survey. There was every indication that these cruise ship travellers felt welcome, and felt that they had received good service and quality in restaurants, transportation, and other service enterprises. The high score rating of quality of service was also up from 2007, which indicates that increasingly, these travellers have come to feel that their needs were being well met. There are only two aspects of travel services that were initially rated just below four: the prices of goods and services, and the perceived lack of variety of things to see and do. Both these areas received the lowest scores in the ratings in 2007, but improved somewhat in 2008. 20 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 14. PERCEPTIONS OF TRAVEL EXPERIENCE IN PEI The survey results were relatively high regarding passenger perception of the overall PEI travel experience. Results indicated a steady improvement across all the indicators used to track travellers’ assessments of their visit. For example, in 2007, PEI as a destination was not a primary motivating factor for visitors deciding to go on a cruise. By 2008, however, the inclusion of PEI in the itinerary seems to have gained importance, and more passengers reported that they would recommend PEI to other travellers. Again, in 2007, little over half the participants were of the opinion that the length of stay onshore was adequate, but after 2008, with an increase in stop-over time, passenger satisfaction in this area improved considerably. In their comments, however, many expressed that they wanted more time. When compared to other destinations on the cruise itinerary, PEI moved from a slightly better than average rating of 3.7 to a 4 out of 5 score, advancing it to a “good” standing. Regarding the suitability of activities, while positive results are indicated below, this category could benefit from further research. Passengers may have been rating the activities as “suitable” or “unsuitable” for a variety of reasons. It will be important to better understand in what respects they have interpreted these activities as suitable or otherwise. For example, although current activities may be considered appropriate to the nature and culture of this destination, or to the cruise clientele, indications elsewhere in this survey suggest that some passengers desire “more to do,” or perhaps a greater variety or choice in the types, quality, or duration, of offerings of things for them to see and do. Comparative statistics from the Princess Cruises Shore Excursion Port Summary, for voyages during September and October 2008, more than support the favourable ratings above. They indicate that Charlottetown is ranked in the top five out of 11 ports in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the east coast of the United States regarding the importance of the port in the itinerary, overall enjoyment at the port, and overall quality of shore excursions. For one voyage in September 2008, Charlottetown is ranked number one for overall quality of shore excursions. 21 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 22 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 15. INTENTION TO RETURN TO VACATION IN PEI Given the positive reports of a satisfying stay in PEI, the large majority of cruise ship passengers rather predictably reported that they may vacation here again, but did not commit themselves to say when. Almost seventeen percent of 2008 travel parties predicted that they were unlikely to come back, while only a small percentage (1.9) said that they would never return. In both instances the percentage declined, substantially for the former category, from 2007. A small number (15.6%) in 2008 suggested that a return visit may be possible after a year or so, and this positive response was an increase of 2.5 percent over the prior year. The percentage of undecided passengers also dropped slightly from 18.4 percent to 15.6 percent. These two groups, combined, could be encouraged to choose PEI as a return destination. 23 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 16. INSTANCES OF COMPLAINTS Less than 8 percent of passengers answered “Yes” to the survey question, “Did you experience any problems (or have any complaints) that would impact your decision to return to Prince Edward Island, or deter you from recommending PEI to others as a travel destination?” In 2007, 92.8 percent of those questioned said that they had no problems or complaints to register, and that number increased to 93.9 percent the following year. This high number of apparently satisfied passengers is encouraging. That said, some visitors may have been reluctant to identify or single out “complaints” as such. However, when passengers were later asked in the survey for their other “Comments,” some did register complaints. A representative sample of these criticisms have been considered and integrated into the Complaints section below. Summary of Complaints Representative samples of complaints are listed below. In sum, complaints focused on transportation, high costs in different areas, an insufficient selection of activities, attractions, and appropriate merchandise. Lack of information in practical areas, such as road signage, affected travel for some, while for some others, insufficient information detracted from historical and cultural sites. Access to transportation, both private and public, was an issue for these first-time cruise visitors, especially given their limited time on shore. One particularly problematic area seems to be the distance between the landing, or point of disembarkation, and city centre. Given the age demographic of passenger travel parties, some type of shuttle may be advisable. 24 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS As indicated previously, PEI was considered expensive, even when compared with other ports of call. As a result, for example, some passengers chose to stay on board for meals. The selection of representative quotations from passengers, below, elaborates on these complaints. Factor Comment “No public transport and nothing really to do in immediate vicinity to docks.” Transportation: a) lack of public “It was a long trip from the ship into town” transportation b) lack of private “Maybe a free tram shuttle would help older visitors.” transportation c) poor signage “Road signage could be improved. Hard to follow – we took the Blue Heron trip and got lost a few times.” (The city was also mentioned in this regard.) “If the bus tours cost half it would have been too expensive.” “Bad smell of gasoline in bus, made me very sick.” Organized “Not problems but the tour was too expensive for the hour it took and excursions/tours: then 50 minutes on your own which was not indicated in the tour a) excessive cost, not explanation. We felt a bit taken and were disappointed. PEI itself was worth it lovely in the limited time here.” b) gasoline smell c) guides “Terrible double-decker tour: waste of money.” “Would be more careful checking out tour and guide.” “ Tour guide not suited to the job.” “The … food was excellent but 300 bucks for two people was outrageous.” Dining “$5.00 for 2 diet Cokes and $11.00 for 2 beers (is) … not the way to encourage people back.” “Prices of merchandise too high to be competitive with other stops.” 25 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS “Not a good choice of shopping or activities for the day compared to other ports.” “No shops open because we were there on Sunday. I needed to buy batteries for my camera.” Retail and Services: “Many services closed, ” either because it was (“too early in season” or often not available “Sunday”) “We would have liked more shops with more locally made items/art. etc.” “We are wealthy Americans looking for things to buy. I understand that your season is almost over, but here we are!” “Not a lot to see and do.” “Rain. No tours offered in rain.” Activities: insufficient “No public trans and nothing really to do in immediate vicinity to docks.” “Not a good choice of shopping opportunities or activities for the day compared to other ports.” “Where local crafters? Where local music?” “Tour poor – not a lot of history.” Lack of “There was an "Anne" in the terminal but not in Green Gables. Green historical/cultural Gables is a HUGE tourist draw and I cannot understand why there information was not someone dressed as her there. We were greeted at the house by an employee wearing a nose ring, which I felt took away from the Lack of appropriate charm and history of the place. Very sorry that Parks Canada did not interpreters and seem to think it necessary to have costumed guides in the house and heritage presence. appropriate to the history of the place??!! ” “Tour Guide not suited to Job-- Dull Comments Pretty Scenery, Not much else.” 26 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 17. DEMOGRAPHICS OF SURVEY RESPONDENT 17.1. Gender Of those completing the Cruise Ship Passenger Surveys, the majority of participants were, by far, female. According to these data, the percentage of males and females completing the surveys increased in 2008. In that year, 33.4 percent of participants actually completing the survey were male, and 58.8 percent were female. 17.2. Age The greater portion of passengers completing the survey in 2008 (74.4%) fall within the age range of 55 years or more, with the next category of 35 to 54 years of age coming in at 25.6 percent. The young adult bracket, age 18 to 34, is minimally represented among this group of travellers. They represented only 2.0 and 1.9 percent of those taking the voyage in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In the two-year period under study the elder group decreased in number by 13.2 percent and the mid-range group increased by the same amount. This shift in age distribution suggests that more middle-aged travellers are joining the cruise, compared to more senior travellers. Again, a partial explanation may be due to the months surveyed in each year. 27 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 17.3. Marital Status When asked about their marital status, most passengers identified themselves as part of a married or common-law relationship (84.5% to 79.6% in 2007 and 2008, respectively). Partners dominated the passenger list, while comparatively few passengers were travelling as singles (20.4% in 2008). 28 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 17.4. Education There is a revealing correspondence between the levels of education of survey participants and the percentage of travellers represented in each educational category. For example, university graduates, (both undergraduate and post graduate) and those passengers with professional designations made up 87.5 percent and 82.3 percent of survey participants in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The next largest group (20.6% in 2008) was made up of participants who claimed to have some post-secondary education and/or high school. Graduates of community and/or technical colleges came in next at 17.7 percent in 2008. While there is some slight variation in the size of each group from year to year, the proportional differences among categories are most apparent between those who have university and/or professional certification on the one hand, and those who have graduated high school, community or technical college on the other. 17.5. Employment Status The popular perception that cruises appeal to retired travellers is confirmed by the results on employment status: of those passengers surveyed in 2007, 67 percent were retired, while in 2008, almost 44 percent were retired. Those working full-time were 20.8 percent of passengers in 2007, and 38.9 percent in 2008. 29 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS The next category, currently listed as “Other,” ranks third at 17.5 percent. 17.6. Annual Household Income Most of the cruise ships docking in PEI catered to clientele with high expectations of travel comfort. As a result, it was not entirely surprising to learn that, except for a very small proportion of survey respondents (7.3%) whose household incomes fall within range of $40,000 CAD per year, the remaining participants reported incomes that ranged from $40,000 to $79,000, and up to $125,000 or more. Interestingly, the three categories of upper-level incomes were almost equally distributed; that is, each high-income category represented roughly one-third of passenger travel parties. Also, from year to year, on average, there was little fluctuation of incomes across the upper-level categories. For the tourism industry, such a typically high and stable income base translates into a clientele with potentially high purchasing power. This clientele is likely to expect excellent quality in services, attractions and activities during their stay, regardless of how brief that may be. 30 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 31 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS 18. COMMENTS REGARDING THE TRIP The surveys for 2007-2008 resulted in collecting approximately 230 comments, from which the following major categories or factors have been identified, and typical examples selected. Summary of Comments Regarding the Trip Factor Comment “An unbelievably beautiful place on earth. Loved it.” “We noted how clean it was. This tells us a lot about the people of P.E.I.” “Want to return with husband to do Trans Canada Trail, Eat lobster, Beauty in natural and Walk Beaches, and Breathe Fresh Air!!” built environment “We appreciated the provincial legislative building and the informative historical video on the province.” Key words describing the city, surrounding landscape, coastline and well-kept farms were “beautiful” (55 times), “clean” (37 times), and “lovely” (25 times). “Very impressed with PEI scenery, people, tour. Very courteous clerks and tour guide.” “Found your visitor information center very friendly, nice selection of materials and having internet available was delightful!” Hospitality “Enjoyed young girl dancing and playing violin while in port tent.” Some suggested that they had also appreciated the music played to send them off at other destinations. Citizens of PEI were characterized as “friendly” (70 times), “helpful” (26 times), and warm. “(We were) also told by others who had visited how expensive things were on the island. It's a beautiful place but very costly, especially when travelling with children. We were happy to have food and lodging on the Costs during on shore cruise ship.” visit in PEI “There should be crew discounts in stores or dining areas because crews come more often than once, and they spend more than passengers over a period of time.” Lack of things to do and “It would be nice to have both (the pier and welcome centre) set up see, such as quality arts with various craft items, etc. that are made on the area – also local and crafts that reflect food items – this is one thing that we miss on the ship - the local 32 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS local culture food. You would have our attention as we depart the ship and before leaving for excursions – music would be an added touch.” “Need more upscale shops near the pier. Need a bigger variety of higher end goods from Canada in addition to the local crafts.” “Work on presenting the character of the city and lure beyond t-shirt and craft sales. Give people a reason to come and stay. How about more fun, physical activities? Boat tours, shore tours, wild-life viewing tours? There must be more than potatoes and Anne of Green Gables.” “I would have liked to learn more about the culture, arts and history. Is there a museum?” “Loved the bike tour.” Many commented on the quality of architecture - its excellence and its state of preservation - and singled out Province House and its audiovisual production as a noteworthy experience. Suggestions included eco-tours, more convenient access to golf, house tours, more shops close to the wharf, fishing excursions, and more local art and artisans’ shops. For example, in the latter case, the “Quilting Shop” and the Island Preserve Company received many enthusiastic reviews. “Not enough time to shop and see the town after 4-hr. Anne of Green Gables tour … would have rather spent more time in Charlottetown than Sydney.” Time “Longer time in port would give time for town and country visit.” Comments requesting, “more time” or citing lack of “time” occurred approximately 40 times. 33 A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS APPENDIX I: METHODOLOGY This report presents information collected from cruise ship passengers who visited Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) during the 2007 and 2008 Cruise Ship season. Data presented in this report was gathered using the “Prince Edward Island Survey of Cruise Ship Passengers.” This survey is one of a series of PEI travel surveys (including the overall Exit Survey, Motor Coach Tourist Survey, and the Second-Home Owners Survey) re-designed by the Tourism Research Centre (TRC) on behalf of Tourism PEI. Cruise ship visitors do not stay overnight in Charlottetown and are therefore considered same-day visitors. Other than questions omitted due to this characteristic, the questions in this survey were based on those asked in the other PEI Travel Surveys. Based on 2007 and 2008 cruise ship arrival schedules, the survey collection was designed to generate a representative sample of cruise ship passengers at the Charlottetown Harbour. For approximately two hours prior to the ship’s scheduled departure, one survey was given to each travel party as they passed through security to board the cruise ship. In 2007, the surveys were distributed in September and October, and in 2008, the surveys were distributed in May and June. The survey package contained a covering letter, survey, and pre-paid return envelope. Passengers were asked to complete the survey and return it by mail. A total of 497 mail-back surveys in 2007, and 268 in 2008, were returned and collected over the five- month period in each year. The data sets were cleaned by analyzing missing values and coefficient variance (CV). Consequently, 460 surveys in 2007 and 213 in 2008 were used for further analyzing the data. The survey use rates accounted for 92.6 percent and 79.5 percent, respectively. The average error range with a sample of 460 is ± 4.4 percent in 2007. This means that in 19 out of 20 cases, the results based on a sample of 460 will differ by no more than 4.4 percent from what would have been obtained by interviewing all passengers who met the qualification criteria in the cruise ship markets surveyed. Similarly, a survey of 213 samples in 2008 has a sampling error of 6.7 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval. That is, if all passengers were surveyed, we would be 95 percent confident that the results of the survey would fall within a range of plus or minus 6.7 percent of the “true” results. An alternative way to view this statistical concept is that if the same survey were conducted 100 times, the results reported here would be within a range of plus or minus 6.7 percent 95 times out of the 100 times the survey was conducted. Weighting was applied to the survey sample to reflect a more accurate distribution of cruise ship passenger population. For this weighting scheme, cruise ship and passenger statistics were obtained from the Charlottetown Harbour Authority and Tourism PEI (see Table 1). Approximately, 19,358 passengers in 2007 and 58,678 in 2008 visited Charlottetown. These statistics could be used to “weight” the sampled interviews to the total number of passengers. The questions in the “PEI Survey of Cruise Ship Passengers,” however, were based on the passenger parties rather than individual passengers. Thus, average party size of the cruise ship passengers was calculated by using the survey samples (raw data), and the number of passenger parties was estimated to apply an appropriate weighting A PROFILE OF CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS: 2007 AND 2008 SEASONS method for this study. As a result, the survey sample was weighted by the total number of passenger parties to align it with the cruise ship passenger party population in each year based on data collected through the randomly selected mail-back survey sampling. Given that the average size of the surveyed cruise parties was 2.44 passengers in 2007 and 2.45 passengers in 2008, the 7,934 passenger parties represented 19,358 passengers in 2007 and 23,950 parties represented 58,678 passengers in 2008. Some parties or passengers did not, or were not able to answer all parts of the questionnaire. In some cases, where no interviews or contacts for distributing mail-back questionnaires were obtained from cruise passengers, some data were able to be inputted, but other data were not. In addition, the data have been rounded to the nearest 1 in most result tables. For this reason, the result tables may not exactly match with 7,934 parties in 2007, and 23,950 in 2008.
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