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Thread: U S Tourists see Canada as 'boring'

  1. #1
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    Default U S Tourists see Canada as 'boring'

    “Americans surveyed in recent years have placed Canada relatively low on the list in terms of desirability of vacation spots,” TD economists said in a study on cross-border travel trends released Monday.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2503922/lo...8d9e58d00d3bb4
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    ^I think its just reality, we are pretty much the same as the US culturally, so there is no way can be exotic / authentic as Asia, Europe or similar. I expect our tourism pick up for Americans would more be in respect, of someone in the northern US states substituting Canada for a local holiday, or perhaps a ski vacation.

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    The article made a specific mention that seeing Canada as "boring" is more a millennial theme. Of a generation that is notably less involved in such things as camping, exploring natural areas, interacting with environment and getting out in general. The generation is also much less inclined to have vehicle transportation and go on road trip vacations.

    Canada is a country that is best appreciated for its natural wonders, and previous generations of Americans did.

    I'm reminded that those that are most bored probably lack imagination. Its their loss. What could be more interesting than seeing the natural wonders of this planet?

    More room to roam free for us.


    The last thing I would want to see in our natural areas is more gimmick *attractions* like skywalks in National parks.

    Anybody that can't appreciate the Natural beauty of Canadas National parks and vistas may as well go to a themepark somewhere. Anywhere really.
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    Everyone these days is texting. hardly a chance to look up and see what's out there.
    Put the smartphones away for a weekend.
    The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes then steal your dreams.
    It's heaven and hell!

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    ^^ Not to mention that there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor pursuits in the USA as well. There is little that American tourists can find here that they can't also find closer to home, without going through the hassle of crossing an international border.

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    Interesting that the two countries closest to the US (Canada and Mexico) were the two countries that ranked lowest on the list.

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    I guess they've never spent a week on Salt Spring Island.

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    I can't imagine with the current drug cartel problems that Mexico would be classified as boring. I'll gladly accept Canada's boring over other countries problems, thank you.

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    Americans don't know a thing about us, so I'm not surprised.
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    Despite our blandness it appears that Americans are continuing to visit Canada.

    According to the following websites, approximately 11.6 million Americans visited Canada in 2015 (Jan - Nov) an increase of 8% from 2014.

    Excluding Mexico (obviously the most popular destination given the numbers of Americans of Mexican descent), Europe was the most popular destination for Amercans at 11.7 million an increase of 6.1% from 2014.

    US Office of Travel and Tourism

    Destination Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I guess they've never spent a week on Salt Spring Island.
    Maybe because they spent a week just across the channel on one of the American Gulf Islands. You can see some of them in the background when you are sitting on the beach at Ruckle park watching the ferries go by. Like I said above, most of what we have to offer can be found somewhere in the USA as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    Like I said above, most of what we have to offer can be found somewhere in the USA as well.
    Sorry have to disagree....

    I've traveled extensively...through the USA, every state except Alaska I believe.

    We have areas of natural beauty you can see no where else in the world, try the run from Fort Vermilion to Peace River. Natural and geological wonders that are unreal.

    We have museums that are unique and a history that is exciting, things American are very interested in. You need only look at the number of NGO museums in the US to see that and the fact that of the over 3 Billion dollars per year donated to museums in the USA over 76% is donated by private individuals.

    Cultural festivals across Alberta and the rest of Canada, from Aboriginal to Ukrainian and others, that are very different that the USA.

    What about all the unique Festivals many on this board spend so much time bragging about?

    There is a ton more.

    In this down economy we, as a city, region, Province, should have been on this a year ago pumping up the market.

    Low dollar, USA perceived threats, access to market and several other factors make this picking low hanging fruit. But the DMFs, local tourism commissions are just waking up to it and the Province still appears sound asleep....so much for diversification.

    Sure...not high tech and not great salaries but they are jobs and bring other opportunities.

    But as I see it this is going to be another opportunity lost.

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    ^I don't think this article is saying Americans hate Canada, its just saying the truth, they see it as basically the same North American culture, just as well do with the US. You can't tell me a trip to Europe, isn't significantly different from a trip to Montana (which also has gorgeous scenery, just like we do). I think there is an opportunity at the moment, but it isn't by changing perceptions, its just a value one, come for cheap ski trips, shopping (e.g. Montreal targeting Boston), etc.

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    ^^ It is good to hear a different perspective. I have never really thought of local history and local festivals as having more than local appeal. I enjoy Edmonton's festivals, but not so much that I would travel to other cities for theirs. History is interesting to me only for the way historical events have shaped my present reality. I have no interest in the local history of randomtown USA, so I assume residents of randomtown, USA would have no interest in local Alberta history. While every bit of natural beauty is unique, both Canada and the USA have a large selection, and I would suspect that most Americans (like most Canadians) have yet to see everything interesting there is to see within 1000 km of home. I know I haven't.

    On the "Peace River to Fort Vermilion run", I am assuming you mean on the river. Definitely something I would like to do. Can one run an outboard boat on the Peace River or is it a choice between a canoe or kayak and a jet boat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I don't think this article is saying Americans hate Canada, its just saying the truth, they see it as basically the same North American culture, just as well do with the US. You can't tell me a trip to Europe, isn't significantly different from a trip to Montana (which also has gorgeous scenery, just like we do). I think there is an opportunity at the moment, but it isn't by changing perceptions, its just a value one, come for cheap ski trips, shopping (e.g. Montreal targeting Boston), etc.
    Almost have it right Moa

    If we do nothing we get nothing. This is all about marketing and awareness.

    If we create the perception it is exciting, interesting and unique....it will be exciting, interesting and unique. Think about NIKE runners are special because...they are marketed that way.

    If, as a Province, we get off our ***** and creatively market the assets we have we will create jobs and business opportunities.

    The added incentive is the low dollar and the US perception of threats internationally.

    Time to get at it far as I am concerned.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    On the "Peace River to Fort Vermilion run", I am assuming you mean on the river. Definitely something I would like to do. Can one run an outboard boat on the Peace River or is it a choice between a canoe or kayak and a jet boat?
    Actually I was thinking of the drive from Fort Vermillion to LaCrete using the Ferry...amazing and you won't see it anywhere else...also flew over it in the Spirit of Edmonton...amazing.

    And that is one example of hundreds

    T

  17. #17

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    ^I think Montreal, and QC do well, because they are culturally quite different / unique from the US. I agree though we need marketing, there should be a ton of it aimed at ski trips / sledding and similar right now, for Banff, Jasper and Whistler (to name a few), being cheaper than, say, Aspen. Fishing trips / Mountain biking, etc, are another one as we warm up. As to getting people to come from the US to Canada to see a museum, a mountain, or similar, there might be a few people like that, but its not going to get more than a handful.

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    Now if only we'd gone with the canal and gondola ideas, we'd have some more 'attractions' in Edmonton. Maybe we're too conservative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Now if only we'd gone with the canal and gondola ideas, we'd have some more 'attractions' in Edmonton.
    There gondala's and canal's all over north America. Why would anyone go to Edmonton to go on a gondala, versus say, Banff or Lake Louise? I've never in my life gone anywhere to go on a gondala, at best its just an add on to fill up a day when you are already somewhere. No amount of tacky touristy things are going to make Edmonton into Niagara falls (and heck, why would want to be?). Edmonton's attraction lies in the Mall (esp for Southern Alberta), the Arena / Hockey / Concerts, and just a big city for small town folks nearby, I think can do much better if market to those properly than are at moment.
    Last edited by moahunter; 11-02-2016 at 11:33 AM.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^ As to getting people to come from the US to Canada to see a museum, a mountain, or similar, there might be a few people like that, but its not going to get more than a handful.
    I'm sorry Moa you need to do some research....

    Stats clearly show Heritage Tourism world wide is #1 or #2, Americans have an affinity for History (all ages) it is a cultural interest to them.

    Check it out

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I guess they've never spent a week on Salt Spring Island.
    Maybe because they spent a week just across the channel on one of the American Gulf Islands. You can see some of them in the background when you are sitting on the beach at Ruckle park watching the ferries go by. Like I said above, most of what we have to offer can be found somewhere in the USA as well.
    Second time you've stated this and Millions of US tourists have disagreed.

    Do you have anything equivalent to the Columbia Icefields in the Original 50 states? no

    The Beauty and grandeur of Banff and Jasper National Parks? No, nothing that quite matches it and I've been to several of the most popular US parks.

    The Historic Charm of Old Quebec?

    Can they experience a country that is working to preserve, reconciliate, and support First Nations cultures and ways of life instead of genocide and outright assimilation?

    Can they go catch a train to Churchill on Hudsons bay to watch Polar Bears in the original 50 states?

    Do they have the wonders of Cape Breton or the Rock and all their charm in the lower states? Or how about Gaelic culture. They got any of that?

    Do they have a wondrous version of Vancouver Island, or fantastic inner passage with countless islets anywhere south of Juneau?

    How about the Forestry trunk road stretching throughout the Eastern spine of the rockies from the Area of the Frank Slide through to places like Ram River Falls, Bighorn Falls, Nordegg, William Switzer , Rock lake and onto Grande Cache. Anything quite like that where you can spend days in peace and quiet.

    How about one of the largest National Parks on Earth as a natural unspoiled preserve maintaining the Wood Buffalo among other species.

    Or alternately Elk island which is much more assessable.

    Or Edmonton with one of the largest preserved river valley and ravine systems and the most preserved parkland per capita found anywhere at such latitude.


    Just to mention a shortlist. I'm astounded anybody would feel Canada isn't a varied and unique natural playground that also has distinct culture.

    I won't even get into the philosophical differences in the countries that makes Canada so attractive to Americans and why so many enquire about immigrating here.
    Last edited by Replacement; 11-02-2016 at 11:53 AM.
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  22. #22

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    ^^Maybe, but I just don't think our museums / history are that different from theirs, at least, in comparison, to say, Italy, or Greece. We are never going to be more interesting than that culture / history wise (as so different from north America - lets face it, we have the same stores, same strip malls, etc.), so we are never going to be "exciting" or "authentic" on a study like this, no matter how much museum marketing we do there. Aside from Quebec, I see us more as a value version of what they have themselves, and traditionally, I think that's been proven as US tourism does ramp up as we get cheaper. Instead of going to Glacier or Aspen, they might suck up the longer drive and go to Banff or Jasper, instead of Tahoe, maybe go to Okanagan, etc.
    Last edited by moahunter; 11-02-2016 at 11:49 AM.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^^Maybe, but I just don't think our museums / history are that different from theirs,
    Then I am afraid you really don't know/understand our history or theirs. Hugely different especially as it relates to the North, pioneering and conflicts.

    So we are never going to be "exciting" on a study like this, no matter how much museum marketing we do there.
    In correct...as proven by the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa (our National Aviation Museum) as well as several others. Again check it out.

    Aside from Quebec, I see us more as a value version of what they have themselves, and traditionally, I think that's been proven as US tourism does ramp up as we get cheaper. Instead of going to Glacier or Aspen, they might suck up the longer drive and go to Banff or Jasper, instead of Tahoe, maybe go to Okanagan.
    If you sell cheap you get cheap...proven time and time again in retail.

    Sell value (different than cheap), excitement, adventure and such...you become a destination.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^^Maybe, but I just don't think our museums / history are that different from theirs,
    Then I am afraid you really don't know/understand our history or theirs. Hugely different especially as it relates to the North, pioneering and conflicts..
    Of course our history is different, but there is not a country on earth with a closer history and culture to the US, than Canada. Geographically as well we share many of the exact same types of features / beauty / wildlife, which isn't surprising, as we are geologically on the same continent.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Of course our history is different, but there is not a country on earth with a closer history and culture to the US, than Canada. Geographically as well we share many of the exact same types of features / beauty / wildlife, which isn't surprising, as we are geologically on the same continent.
    Wow...our histories, how we have dealt with things ranging from immigration to how we have dealt with first nations, our politics, our development and our Northern history are dramatically different.

    I am very surprised you don't realize that.

    While our southern geology is similar as you go North we become very different, once past the "60th" even more dramatically so.

    Wildlife...sub species and settings

    Again I am surprised you don't realize it.

  26. #26

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    ^so which country on earth has a closer history to the US than Canada? I noticed you avoided answering the question because you don't like the answer. I didn't say they were the same, I said relatively, compared to the rest of the world, they are closer. We share most of the same wars (sometimes on same side, sometimes opposing), we share many of the same issues (e.g. plight of Aboriginals, underground railway from US to Canada, etc.), we were settled at similar times, with many related and shared events (like the Acadians going to Louisiana). I'm sorry but a country like Australia or Italy has a much more different history from the US than Canada does, which is what the survey found. As different as Canada and the US are, relatively, there is no country closer to Canada than the US, and vice versa, in history, culture or geography, even share the same sports (football, hockey, etc.), same stores, same junk food, etc.
    Last edited by moahunter; 11-02-2016 at 12:38 PM.

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    ^^^^^^Canada most certainly is "a varied and unique natural playground", but so is the USA. Every mountain and every valley is unique, but both countries have plenty of them. For every amazing bit of Canadian geography, there is something different but equally amazing in the USA. Grand Canyon, Yellowstone geothermal features, California redwood forests, Crater Lake, Hawaii volcanoes, etc. There are cultural differences, but they are more subtle than those between the USA and any other country. If a different cultural experience is the goal, I can see why Canada (and especially western Canada) is low on the list for Americans.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^so which country on earth has a closer history to the US than Canada? I noticed you avoided answering the question because you don't like the answer. I didn't say they were the same, I said relatively, compared to the rest of the world, they are closer. We share most of the same wars (sometimes on same side, sometimes opposing), we share many of the same issues (e.g. plight of Aboriginals, underground railway from US to Canada, etc.), we were settled at similar times, with many related and shared events (like the Acadians going to Louisiana). I'm sorry but a country like Australia or Italy has a much more different history from the US than Canada does, which is what the survey found. As different as Canada and the US are, relatively, there is no country closer to Canada than the US, and vice versa, in history, culture or geography, even share the same sports (football, hockey, etc.), same stores, same junk food, etc.
    I never said the histories were not close...but you paint us as the 51st State and nothing could be further from the truth, you mention the "plight of the Aboriginals" yet fail to acknowledge the differences in how we handled them vs the US (ie: nothing like the Indian Wars in the US.

    And much more...sure our modern cultures have become very close but at one time we were enemies for crying out loud.

    Time for a break I'm gett'n pissy.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^^^^^^Canada most certainly is "a varied and unique natural playground", but so is the USA. Every mountain and every valley is unique, but both countries have plenty of them. For every amazing bit of Canadian geography, there is something different but equally amazing in the USA. Grand Canyon, Yellowstone geothermal features, California redwood forests, Crater Lake, Hawaii volcanoes, etc. There are cultural differences, but they are more subtle than those between the USA and any other country. If a different cultural experience is the goal, I can see why Canada (and especially western Canada) is low on the list for Americans.
    Again, never said the US didn't have unique pieces, but so do we which creates the experience.

    T

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^^^^^^Canada most certainly is "a varied and unique natural playground", but so is the USA. Every mountain and every valley is unique, but both countries have plenty of them. For every amazing bit of Canadian geography, there is something different but equally amazing in the USA. Grand Canyon, Yellowstone geothermal features, California redwood forests, Crater Lake, Hawaii volcanoes, etc. There are cultural differences, but they are more subtle than those between the USA and any other country. If a different cultural experience is the goal, I can see why Canada (and especially western Canada) is low on the list for Americans.
    I specifically stated original 50 states, I did so because the vast majority of US visits here are road trip visits to contiguous landmasses. Hawaii need not apply in that regard. Nor Alaska except for real longhaul drivers.

    Again, important to note that the current decline in interest in US visitors to Canada is a current phenomenon that is Millennial driven. Millenials who are also less likely to visit the natural wonders contained even in the USA. Less likely to even own their own vehicle in which to do a roadtrip. Extremely less likely to be outfitted with an RV or to consider camping holidays.

    But who have somewhat of an interest in discovering cultures in Foreign countries while texting the whole time, taking nude selfies and getting arrested for indecency to spiritual sites..

    The last bit was tongue in cheek but happened.

    I'll continue to maintain theres some irony in a generation constantly bored and electronically plugged in 24hrs/day wanting to find something culturally more interesting. I wonder if they find it on google or the istore?
    Last edited by Replacement; 11-02-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    I specifically stated original 50 states, I did so because the vast majority of US visits here are road trip visits to contiguous landmasses. Hawaii need not apply in that regard. Nor Alaska except for real longhaul drivers.
    Its all relative. I grew up in New Zealand, parts of NZ look like Okanagen, but parts are completely different from anything in North America. The native wildlife is totally different, not just a slightly different colored bear or bird, or a different type of mosquito. I love Canada, but the US is truly spectacular as well. Many aspects are very similar though - take the Rocky Mountains, which aren't that geologically different between Canada and the US. Its a type of Mountain very different from what you would see in New Zealand, where there is more scree and ice near sea level, and less rock (its partly why Hillary was the first guy to climb Everest, unlike the European Alps which are a bit more similar to North America with a lot of great rock climbing options, the Southern Alps are more similar to the Himalayas in mountain form). Even when you go somewhere like Drumheller, the canyon itself is really just a little version of a much bigger phenom to the South of us.
    Last edited by moahunter; 11-02-2016 at 01:10 PM.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Its all relative. I grew up in New Zealand, parts of NZ look like Okanagen, but parts are completely different from anything in North America. The native wildlife is totally different, not just a slightly different colored bear or bird, or a different type of mosquito. I love Canada, but the US is truly spectacular as well. Many aspects are very similar though - take the Rocky Mountains, which aren't that geologically different between Canada and the US. Its a type of Mountain very different from what you would see in New Zealand, where there is more scree and ice near sea level, and less rock (its partly why Hillary was the first guy to climb Everest, unlike the European Alps, NZ's Alps are more similar to the Himalayas in mountain form). Even when you go somewhere like Drumheller, its really just a little version of a much bigger phenom to the South of us.
    The attitude shown is likely the same shared by Alberta Tourism and others, which is the topic at hand....and highlights the reason we fail.

    Let's tell everyone how we are no different than them and just as boring!

    Guaranteed to succeed with that approach.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    I specifically stated original 50 states, I did so because the vast majority of US visits here are road trip visits to contiguous landmasses. Hawaii need not apply in that regard. Nor Alaska except for real longhaul drivers.
    Its all relative. I grew up in New Zealand, parts of NZ look like Okanagen, but parts are completely different from anything in North America. The native wildlife is totally different, not just a slightly different colored bear or bird, or a different type of mosquito. I love Canada, but the US is truly spectacular as well. Many aspects are very similar though - take the Rocky Mountains. Its a type of Mountain very different from what you would see in New Zealand, where there more scree and ice near sea level, and less rock. Even when you go somewhere like Drumheller, its really just a little version of a much bigger phenom to the South of us.
    Hmmm.

    Most people find Glaciated mountain ranges much more spectacular than dry, arid, mountain ranges. Its why the Alps, Andes, Himalayas and the Canadian Rockies are so reknowned. The habitats are much different, much more green and with lush meadows, wondrous varied habitat etc.

    Not to mention GORGEOUS silt water mountain lakes that occur in GLACIATED regions and who's exquisite turquoise color are not found many places in the USA.

    Also, for those arguing let one person post an original 50 states visage as wondrous as Moraine Lake and the valley of the 10 peaks.

    Yeah, any US visitors I've ever seen are jaw dropped by that sight. Or Lake Louise, or Maligne Lake, or Peyto Lake, or Bow lake etc on and on.

    Nor, have I ever found in the US any place as wondrous, and as swiss like, as Mount Edith Cavell. A spectacular gift of beauty found just a daytrip away from Edmonton.
    Last edited by Replacement; 11-02-2016 at 01:14 PM.
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  34. #34

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    ^personally, I think there are gorgeous places all over the world. I think its reasonable that North Americans are going to find wildlife and scenery on another continent a little more interesting than something they grew up with or available in their continent. Living in Alberta, I love seeing the big horn sheep, beavers, and bears. But if you ask me whether I'd rather see a Bear in the U.S. that's a slightly different species, or a lion in the wild, I know which is more interesting to me. To someone who lives near the lion, the bear would be more interesting. One isn't better than the other, they are just different.

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    People go on vacation/travel not just for the scenery/wildlife alone. I personally, prefer nature/animals when I go travelling but lots of people like architecture, history/culture, food, shopping, etc. My brother goes to the US all the time but for sports event and food.

    If I was an American and my interest was one of the aforementioned reasons, I would probably not come to Canada as my travel destination. We are culturally too similar for an exotic experience.

    America has alot of beautiful places as well. I particularly like Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon (I prefer it over the Grand Canyon). But thus far, I think that there are very few lakes/water that is compariable to the ones in Alberta.

    EDIT: So rather than "boring", they probably not exotic enough.

  36. #36

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    U S Tourists see Canada as 'boring'

    Well at least the rest of the world sees otherwise.


    Tourism is booming in Alberta along with increased spending by visitors.
    “Albertans should be proud that our tourism industry is dynamic and resilient, with great potential for growth. Tourism in Alberta presents tremendous opportunities to help diversify our economy and create good-paying jobs in an exciting industry,” said Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda.
    New data compiled by Statistics Canada says Alberta saw 34.7 million tourist visits in 2014. Total tourism spending grew five per cent from 2013 to $8.3 billion.
    The province welcomed nearly 900,000 overseas visitors in 2014, a 17-per-cent increase over the previous year. Those same tourists spent $1 billion in the province, an increase of 22 per cent over 2013.

    Alberta saw another 700,000 tourists from the United States in 2014. They spent more than $730 million, a 12-per-cent increase over 2013.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...ock-to-alberta
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    I think the strict border security and customs may also be affecting whether or not some come to see if we are boring or not. I would like to see us go the way of Europe where we could move more freely about the continent.

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