September 29: HTM students get the naked truth on Canadians’ food and travel habits | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

September 29: HTM students get the naked truth on Canadians’ food and travel habits

Posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Ipsos Decarie vice-president Luc Durand detailed national trends in eating habits and tourism for students and faculty from the School of Tourism and Hospitality as part of the school’s World Tourism Day celebrations.  Faculty and students from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management marked World Tourism Day 2010 with a revealing presentation from a leading Canadian food and tourism market researcher.

Held at the school’s Macdonald Institute, the event also doubled as the launch for HTM’s Tourism Research Collaborative (link), an international initiative aimed at fostering sustainable tourism and better consumer understanding.

Ipsos Decarie vice-president Luc Durand delivered a presentation entitled Naked Foods: Canadians’ Taste for the Authentic, in which he detailed national trends in eating habits and tourism. Durand’s findings stem from a 2009 study that posed more than 100 questions to 4,200 Canadians from across every major region of the country.

HTM Professor Statia Elliot met Durand earlier this year at the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) International Conference, San Antonio, Texas. Elliot said she and her HTM colleague Professor Marion Joppe, who was also attending the conference, saw a direct link between Durand’s work and the Tourism Research Collaborative they were about to launch.

“The TRC is interested in food-tourism research, and when Luc told us about his extensive food study, we invited him to campus,” Elliot said.

On the food side of things, Durand established eating habit segmentation by demographic and region. This included food-buying patterns from spur-of-the-moment purchases at the corner store to a savoured meal at an haute cuisine restaurant specifically chosen for its presentation and ambiance.

From a tourism perspective, Durand detailed the emergence of six main categories when it came to Canadians’ rationale and general preferences for vacations. Whether it be students looking for a cheap get away with lots of nightlife or “intellectual adventurers” seeking out a stint of cultural immersion, Durand urged students to be mindful of Canadians’ travel trends when developing specific tourism marketing plans.

Durand and Elliot are now working on a paper for the next TTRA conference, tentatively called “mapping culinary food interests across tourism segments.”

For more information on Luc Durand’s research and presentation, contact Professor Statia Elliot at 519-824-4120 ext. 53971 or


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