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Chapter 3 Geography and tourism in North America.


* Canada and the United Stalls are characterized by urban aid ethnically diverse populations.

* North America has a diversified resource base, including fertile soils that make it the major food-surplus region in the world.

* North America has a high total and per capita consumption of resources and consumer goods.

* The region is more dependent upon the automobile than any other region of the world.

* Canada and the United States are democratic federal states, but each has a unique political organization.


* Tourism is an important element in the quality of life of reside-it; of North America.

* The region is one of the largest origin regions for international tourism.

* The region is one of the largest international destination regions of the world.

* The automobile is the major form of travel for domestic tourism.

* The attraction in the region are extremely diversified.













United States

International Visitors

New York City

Washington D.C.

Las Vegas


San Francisco

Los Angeles

New Or leans

Grand Canyon


Orlando, Florida

Branson Missouri

Yellow stone National Pak

San Diego, California

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Williamsburg Virgina

Oahu, Hawaii



Canadian Shield

Civil War

Cultural Centers

Fall Line


Hall of Fame

Historical Houses


Middle Class

National Park



St Lawrence





While geographically North America includes Mexico, the general perception of many North Americans is that the name refers to the United States and Canada. Since we have organized this book on a cultural basis, Mexico is included in Latin America. The discussion on North America focuses on what is commonly referred to in geography as Anglo-America (Canada and the United States), Figure 3-1. The two countries are similar in that they have the same general ethnic origins and are the end pro dusts of the Industrial Revolution. They are wealthy, mobile, highly educated societies with an abundance of leisure time and consumer goods. Canada and the United States are rivaled only by the countries of Western Europe as a focus of tourism-related travel. Most European countries are close and small when compared to the United States and Canada. Consequently, they have a high proportion of their population involved in international travel. In spite of the great distances involved, the United States and Canada are also world leaders in international (both as an origin and a destination) and domestic travel.


North America is one of the most urbanized societies in the world. The scale of urbanization exceeds that of any other region except Western Europe. The North American city is dominated by skyscrapers, even though these tall buildings occupy but a minor part of the total area occupied by the city. Regional and national cities dominated by impressive skylines and seemingly never-ending suburbs are a unique phenomenon. The ubiquitous automobile, found in America in numbers unmatched anywhere in the world, has allowed cities to sprawl across the landscape and is a dominant force in domestic tourism in both nations.

Incomes are among the highest in the world, and Canada and the United States combined represent the world's largest concentration of middle-class people. These middle classes enjoy a life of luxury compared to more than three-fourths of the world's people. They are middle class only because there exists an even wealthier elite in the two countries. These two countries together enjoy a standard of living that is only a dream for the world's hungry, illiterate, ill-housed, ill-fed, and underemployed majority. There are pockets of poverty and a low standard of living, particularly in African-American and Latino communities. However, the general wealth allows citizens of the two countries a degree of financial independence and free time to pursue travel-related experiences unmatched elsewhere. Since 1850, the workweek has been reduced from seventy hours a week to less than forty hours per week. Other benefits resulting from the efforts of labor unions include sick leave, paid vacations, and other fringe benefits, which allow the residents of these countries to spend approximately one-third of their time in leisure. The region is truly one in which leisure is one of the most important characteristics.



The landforms of North America have been conducive to human use. The landforms of the region, Figure 3-2, include several that are common to both Canada and the United States. Major landforms are the Canadian Shield, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, the Appalachian Mountains, the Central Lowlands, the Great Plains area, the Western mountains, and the Pacific Coastal Plain.

The Canadian Shield

The greater part of Canada consists of an old igneous rock mass that has been highly glaciated. Called the Canadian Shield, it is important because of its diverse and abundant mineral resources. Except for some relatively rugged hills in eastern Quebec and Labrador, this is a gently rolling landscape with hundreds of thousands of water bodies, ranging in size from minute to large, connected by thousands of rivers and streams. The Shield was the center of continental glaciation in North America that leveled the land and created numerous lakes, marshes, and ponds.


The Atlantic Coastal Plain

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a broad, easily accessible plain. There are two recognizable regions. The first is north of Cape Fear, North Carolina. It is an area of submerged coast, where the coast has sunk in the past, flooding the river mouths. The second is south of this point to the Mexican border. It is an emergent coastal plain, where the land is slowly rising. The submerged portion is the location of the flooded, or drowned, river mouths of the St. Lawrence, Hudson, Chesapeake, and Susquehanna Rivers. These drowned river mouths are known as estuaries. They provide excellent harbors, allowing ocean-going vessels to travel some distance into the land area. The coastal plain is narrower in the area of the submerged coast, but the existence of the drowned river mouths allows access inland. The emergent coastal plain in the southeastern United States has poorly drained lands in which rivers are shallow and winding, and the sites for ports are few and less suitable.

The Piedmont

Between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains is the piedmont, a transition zone between mountains and plains. It is separated from the coastal plain by the fall line, the point at which streams descend from the high piedmont to the lower coastal plain. Rarely is the fall line an actual waterfall; it is normally a series of rapids and is the furthest point ships can travel upstream on the rivers. The fall line is the location for several important cities such as Washington, D.C.

The Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachians are a series of parallel mountains. Their elevations rarely exceed five thousand feet, but because of their north-south orientation, they have historically handicapped easy transportation from east to west in the United States. The Appalachians contain extensive deposits of high-grade coal in their sedimentary rocks.

The Central Lowlands

The Central Lowlands constitute the agricultural heart of the American continent. They are formed by the Ohio-Mississippi-Missouri drainage. In Canada these lowlands lie along the Great Lakes of Erie and Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. This area is fertile, well-drained, and level, making it suitable for mechanized equipment.

The Great Plains

West of the Central Lowlands, the land rises and becomes the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. It stretches from San Antonio in the south to the edge of the Arctic Lowlands in the north. The plains rise from five hundred feet above sea level in the east to five thousand feet above sea level in the west. The combined area of the Great Plains and Central Lowlands in the United States constitutes more than one-half of the total landmass. This broad expanse of level, fertile land has provided a tremendous base for agricultural development. The Great Plains of Canada are interrupted far less frequently by small hills or knolls than the Great Plains of the United States.

The Western Mountains

The Great Plains merge to the west into the north-south trending Rocky Mountains complex, which has elevations exceeding fifteen thousand feet. The mountains are important because of their impact on climate and transportation; their resources, as the source for many of the major rivers in the continent; as a recreational region; and as a barrier between the Great Plains and the West. The Canadian portion of the Rocky Mountains offers some of the most beautiful views in all the world. The area of Western Canada is known as the Western cordillera, which is an area of mountains and plateaus and valleys. The two main ranges are the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Mountains with peaks exceeding elevation of 13,000 feet. Between the ranges are other ranges of mountains, the Fraser River Plateau, and the Okanagan Valley. East of the Okanagan are ranges of the Rockies such as the Caribou, Monashees, Selkirks, Purcells, and the Kootenays, and the Columbia ranges.

The Pacific Coastal Plains

In the United States the coastal ranges, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascade Mountains are separated from the Rocky Mountains by a series of plateaus, block mountains, and basins, which is known as the Basin and Range region. The Basin and Range region in the United States is an arid region with internal drainage. An example is the Great Salt Lake.

The complex series of basins and plateaus comprising the Basin and Range is bordered on the west by the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada. West of the Sierra Nevada is the Central Valley of California, which is separated from the Pacific by the California coastal ranges. North of the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington consists of volcanic mountains. With mountains in the west rising abruptly from the seashore, the coastal plain areas are limited.

Alaska includes the northern extension of the Rocky Mountains; the Brooks and McKenzie Ranges and the High Plateaus, which are dissected; the low volcanic mountains of the Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Islands; high coastal glaciated mountains; and the Alaska Range, which includes the highest peaks in North America in Denali National Park. Denali ranges over 20,000 feet in elevation. The northern extremes of Alaska and Canada consist of the Arctic Coastal Plain or Lowland. Hawaii is an archipelago of more than 130 islands. They are volcanic mountains in nature with a luxuriant tropical vegetation. Elevations reach 13,000 feet above sea level.

The River Systems

An important element of the physical character of North America is its natural transportation arteries. In the past, the river systems of the continent provided routes for expansion of settlement and fostered unification. Today the rivers provide major transportation for industrial and agricultural development. The most important river system is the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, which can be navigated halfway across the continent.

The second major river system on the continent is the Mississippi and its tributaries, such as the Arkansas, Ohio, and Missouri. This system drains the entire central area of the continent. On a world scale, it is surpassed only by the Rhine River in importance for river transportation. It is navigable by locks as far upstream as Pittsburgh on the Ohio and Minneapolis St. Paul on the Mississippi. It is tied to Lake Michigan by the Illinois-Michigan Barge Canal. Navigation on the Missouri is primarily from Omaha to its junction with the Mississippi. The Arkansas River is also navigable for barge traffic, and a massive canal-building project has made Tulsa, Oklahoma, a seaport. This river system provides low-cost transportation that makes New Orleans the largest port in the United States in terms of total tonnage.

In the West, two main river systems provide access to the interior. The Columbia River is navigable for barge traffic as far inland as Idaho. The Sacramento River is navigable to Sacramento. The Colorado, which is not important for transportation, provides water to the arid West. The importance of the water of the Colorado for agriculture, industry, and residential use in the arid American West makes it even more significant to the inhabitants of the lands through which it passes than the Mississippi is to the Central Lowlands. In addition, the Colorado is used for recreational activities by millions of people.

Climate Characteristics

There are a wide variety of climatic types in North America. The factors contributing to the continent's climatic pattern are:

* its great latitudinal extent

* its size

* the prevailing westerly winds

* the warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico

* the mountain ranges

* the land and water relationships in and around the continent

North America has ten major climatic types, Figure 3-3. In the north is an area of tundra that is essentially uninhabited. Subarctic climate occupies much of Alaska and Canada and helps to explain the more limited economic development in Canada. The area is sparsely inhabited, except for localized settlements for mining, trapping, or other extractive economic activities. It is an area of coniferous forests.

The marine west coast climate extends from 60 degrees north latitude to approximately 40 degrees north latitude on the west coast of Canada and the United States. This area has relatively intensive settlement, particularly south of the 50th parallel starting with the city of Vancouver. North of Vancouver settlements become very scarce. The ocean bordering this area gives the region relatively cool summer temperatures and mild winters for its latitude, along with an abundance of precipitation to support coniferous forests. The moderate temperatures provide a long growing season. The region is less developed in Canada than in the United States because of more rugged landforms in Canada.


The southern part of California has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wetter winters. This is one of the most important tourism areas in Anglo-America. The interior areas of Southern California have a desert climate, with low amounts of precipitation and isolated population settlements. Although precipitation ranges only from 6 to 25 inches per year, California is the most populous state in the United States, with more inhabitants than all of Canada.

The western mountainous region of the United States has desert and steppe climates. Some of the driest areas of the world are the interior deserts of California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. In Canada, cooler temperatures minimize the extent of the desert and steppe regions.

The eastern regions of the United States and Canada have humid continental climates. Both warm and cool summer types are found and are associated with some of the most fertile agricultural lands in the world.

Humid subtropical climate dominates the southeastern United States. Summers are hot and humid, and winters are typically moderate with long periods of subfreezing temperatures uncommon. The southern tip of Florida and the Florida Keys have a savanna climate with a hot, humid summer and a warm, drier winter, which has contributed to their development as a winter tourist center. Hawaii has a tropical rainforest climate with a trade wind that provides an excellent climate for tourism year-round.

The essentially north-south orientation of the mountains in North America results in important modifications of the humid continental and humid subtropical climates of the United States. The absence of any physical barrier across the central plains allows cold Canadian and Arctic air to move farther south in the United States than in any other continent. Consequently, the humid subtropical climate of the United States periodically experiences freezing temperatures, which damage citrus and vegetable crops in the deep South.


Tourism and the tourist industry are of major importance in Canada and the United States. North Americans Americans travel on a scale that is unequaled in the world for domestic and international travel combined. The versatility and variety of the industry, with its rich combination of public and private organizations, characterizes North American tourism.

Although it is considerably more isolated from international borders than the West European countries, international travel ranks high in the United States. The United States had the highest international and domestic expenditures and tourism receipts of all countries in the world in International tourism receipts in the United States in 1999 exceeded 95 billion dollars, more than triple those of any other industrial country. Domestic travel contributed another 4 hundred billion dollars to the U.S. economy, making the U.S. travel industry the fifth

largest segment of the total economy (Table 3-1). Canada is not as dominant in the travel industry as the United States, but typically ranks in the top ten in world tourism receipts and expenditures, due in part to its accessibility to its largest market--the United States. Another example of the health of the travel industry in North America can be seen in airport statistics. Of the top twenty airports in the world (ranked in terms of total number of passengers), only eight are outside North America. Of these eight, Heathrow Airport in London has the highest ranking, but it only ranks fifth in the world. Of the top fifty world airports, only twenty-two are located outside the North American market. This is even more impressive when considering that over 80 percent of trips taken in North America are by private automobile.


Entry: United States citizens visiting Canada may be required
to show proof of citizenship.

Time Zone: Time zones in Canada correspond to those in the
United States with the exception of Atlantic time (one hour
ahead of eastern standard time), which is observed in New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, and
Newfoundland time (1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of eastern
standard time), which is observed only in the Province of

Transportation and Communications: Canadian telephone
facilities are excellent, and direct dialing is possible between
the United States and Canada. Public transportation in cities
is excellent. Accessibility to the United States is excellent by
both automobile and air service.


Canadians tend to view their country less as a melting pot than
as a cultural mosaic. Inuit, Indian Nations, French, English, and
other immigrant groups have sought to maintain their unique
cultural identities.

Cultural Hints:

*Do not compare Canada with the United States.

*  Firm handshake and eye contact.

*  Little or no casual touching.

* Offensive gestures are the same as in the United States.

* To signal a waiter, raise your hand.

* For the check, motion with one hand as if you are writing.

* In French-speaking Quebec thumbs-down is offensive.

* Eating and food:

In Quebec do not eat on the street.

In Quebec nod the head to beckon a waiter.

Tipping is 10 to 15 percent.

Dress appropriately for dinner.

Food is reflective of the region and ethnic character:

  French pastries and breads in Quebec

  Potatoes, red meats, and breads

  Wild rice, smoked fish, beef, smoked salmon, and

The infrastructure of the tourism industry in Canada is similar to that of the United States. Many of the hotels and restaurants belong to chains or are members of franchises based in the United States. Several United States airlines provide direct service to the larger Canadian cities. Competition between government corporations and private industry is a tradition in Canada, evident in both airlines and railways. The Canadian equivalent of AMTRAK (via rail) runs on both the government-owned Canadian National (CN) tracks and the privately owned Canadian Pacific (CP) tracks.

Private enterprise is more evident in bus service and in the travel trade. Canadian-owned firms predominate, although Greyhound Lines of Canada Limited is an associate of the American Greyhound system. Federal and provincial government tourism departments tend to have larger budgets than their counterparts in the United States. This reflects public acceptance of a higher profile for government in Canada than in the United States and also the fact that because of their smaller size, Canadian businesses have only limited resources for advertising and marketing research.

Agencies of government responsible for tourism development and marketing are found in every provincial and territorial government and at the federal level. These agencies endeavor to cooperate through a system of federal-provincial committees. Some federal financial assistance is provided for mutually agreed-upon projects.

In the private sector, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has a role similar to that of the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA). It represents the viewpoint of the industry to government. In Canada, there are also provincial tourism industry associations, which serve a similar purpose at the provincial level.


Canada is a unique country, and one of the things that make it especially attractive to tourists is its heritage of both English and French settlement, Figure 3-4. Canada's total population is more than thirty-one million, approximately one-fourth of which claim French as their first language. The French influence is most obvious in the Province of Quebec, because the largest percentages and numbers of French Canadians are located in this province. Language is only one of the cultural differences that distinguish the French in Canada, but it is the most easily recognizable to visitors. Eighty-two percent of Quebec's over seven million people speak French, and less than 10 percent claim English as their first language. The only other province with a large percentage of French speakers is New Brunswick, where one-third of the population claim French as their first language. No other province has even 5 percent of its population who are French Canadian, and the result is a French Canadian culture region concentrated along the lower St. Lawrence River Valley in Quebec and New Brunswick.


Visitors to this region will find evidence of the French culture everywhere, most obvious being the language, which is evident in the names of towns, newspapers, advertisements, and television and radio. Many names of places and people reflect the Roman Catholic Church, which was a central part of the French culture of early French settlers of the lower St. Lawrence River. Towns beginning with "Sainte" are common in the French culture region of Canada, such as Sainte Foy, Sainte Anne-de-Beaupre, or Sainte Therese-de-Blainville. Individual names in the French region reflect both the French and Catholic influence in French Canadian culture, such as Jean Paul or Marie. The Catholic Church was the focus of the French Canadian village and is still a prominent part of the French Canadian landscape. The distinctive characteristics of French Canada that appeal to visitors, however, do not reveal the political and cultural tension associated with the presence in Canada of two very different cultures of French and English that dominates the country.

The French were the first to settle Canada, but by 1763 the English had defeated the French in North America, and French settlement was confined primarily to the lower St. Lawrence River Valley. During and after the American Revolutionary War, British royalists settled in the Upper St. Lawrence River Valley, and in 1791 the United Kingdom created two political units in the Canadian Colony, Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec and adjacent areas). Known as the Constitutional Act of 1791, this act legitimized the concept of two separate peoples in Canada, the French and English. The ensuing 200 years have seen the emergence of Canada as an independent country, and a series of legislative acts by either the United Kingdom or the Canadian parliament has maintained the importance of Canada as the home of two major cultures. When Canada formally unified as one country in 1867, the government was formed as a federation of distinct cultures, and Canada became one country in which French and English were both official languages. Since that time other migrant groups have come to Canada, but the two languages and cultures remain dominant. Later arrivals generally learned English, while the growth of the French-speaking population in Quebec and New Brunswick reflected mainly the natural increase of the people already residing there. The result was a gradual decline in the proportion of people speaking French in Canada in the twentieth century.

The last half of the twentieth century saw a remarkable change in the concept of "One Canada, two peoples." French Canadians, worried about the declining percentage of French in Canada, also believed that the French were not treated equally with the English in the country. The growth of Montreal's English-speaking peoples led to predictions that the French in Montreal would be a minority in their own city in the twenty-first century and gave impetus to growing French political activism. This culminated in the elections of 1960 in which the National Rally for Independence won control of the Quebec provincial government. From 1960 until today there has been a constant, if varying, demand for separatism from Canada among many French in Quebec.

Separatism, the division of Canada into two countries, raises the very real possibility that future tourists to Canada will need a separate visa to enter Quebec, but at the same time reinforces the French culture that makes Quebec so interesting to visit. Political demands for separatism led to the creation of the separatist Parti Quebecois in 1968 and adoption of French-only requirements for the names of stores and businesses in Quebec. Concerned that French was being overwhelmed by English, the provincial government passed laws making it difficult for children to attend English-speaking schools, required new immigrants to Quebec to learn French, and mandated all government business be conducted in French. In 1980 a referendum was held to determine whether Quebec would remain in Canada or not, but the separatists lost by a 60-40 margin.

While the referendum failed to separate Canada into two countries, the result was to concentrate the French even more dramatically. Many large Canadian corporations who were headquartered in Montreal moved to Toronto with the English-speaking employees. Toronto replaced Montreal as the largest city, and Canada adopted the Constitution Act of 1982. This act officially removed the power of the British parliament to be involved in Canadian government, although still recognizing the Queen of England as the official head of the state. All of the provinces ratified the Constitution Act except Quebec, which insisted on more recognition of the unique place of French Canada in the country. Constitutional conventions attempting to modify the 1982 Constitution Act failed to do so, as the English majority refused to ratify the proposed changes. The separatists returned to power in Quebec in the 1990s with a new political party, the Bloc Quebecois. A second referendum was held in 1995, and again the separatist movement was defeated in Quebec, leaving Quebec as an official part of Canada as of 2000.

How long Canada will remain one country is problematic, however. The separatists lost the referendum by less than one percent of the vote, making it clear that there is the possibility that a future referendum will be successful. Many of the French in Canada believe that unless they become an independent country they will lose their unique French culture, and growing nationalism may well make a future referendum successful.

Domestic Tourism

Tourism in Canada is largely domestic, typically averaging slightly more than 70 percent of all overnight travel by Canadians, Table 3-2. Canada's national and provincial governments have been active in promoting both domestic and international tourism within Canada. The federal government travel ministry in Ottawa conducted a landmark study in 1992 that was designed to ensure that tourist-promotional programs would emphasize Canadian attractions for both residents and nonresidents. Based on the study, Canadian travel officials have emphasized the distinct Canadian culture and heritage, the beautiful national, regional, and state parks, adventure tourism, festivals and events of all kinds, skiing, golf, water sports, and country resorts.

The two major reasons Canadian residents give for traveling are to visit friends and family (37 percent) and for pleasure (36 percent). Intraprovincial travel for overnight visits is much more common than interprovincial travel, typically comprising some 80 percent of all overnight stays. The two most visited provinces are Ontario and Quebec, dominating both intra- and interprovincial travel. The most popular destinations for Canadian residents are Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Quebec City, Ottawa-Hull, Calgary, and Vancouver.

The residents of the western provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba are the most frequent travelers in Canada, while those living in the west coast province of British Columbia and the eastern island provinces of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island are less inclined to travel. The greater distances between population centers and the official definition of a trip (minimum of 50 miles) are important factors in the higher propensity to travel by residents of the western provinces.

International Tourism

The most important characteristic of Canadian international travel is its linkage to the United States.

Trips to the United States represent 93 percent of all Canadian international travel trips. Same-day trips total the largest number, as nearly 30 million Canadians annually cross the border for shopping, entertainment, or other single-day trips. As shown in Figure 3-5, the number of same-day trips by Canadians to the United States dropped precipitously in the last half of the 1990s as the value of the Canadian dollar dropped compared with the U.S. dollar. The same pattern is true of longer stays by Canadians in the United States, although the drop has not been as marked. While less than the peak of nearly 20 million Canadian overnight visitors to the United States in 1991, the 13.4 million Canadians who stayed longer than one night totaled nearly 100 million nights of stay in the United States for an average of 7.5 nights per overnight visitor. The close relationship of the value of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar and total Canadian visitation to the United States will no doubt continue, and either the strengthening of the Canadian economy or the weakening of the U.S. economy will lead to increased Canadian visitors to the United States in the future. The close proximity of Canada's population centers to the United States makes it the logical destination for international travel unless other destinations are markedly cheaper. Minimal travel costs to the United States because of its proximity mean that other foreign destinations can rarely compete with the United States, therefore, a decline in Canadian travel to the United States normally translates into substitution of domestic travel within Canada.

More than 80 percent of the international visitors to Canada are from the United States. Although it was stagnant in the early 1980s, international travel to Canada reached an all-time high in 1998 of 18.8 million. Nearly 15 million of these were residents of the United States. The close proximity of large population centers in the United States to the Canadian border is a major factor in the dominance of tourists from the United States. The second largest market is the United Kingdom, which accounts for only 4.2 percent of the visitors in 1999 (Table 3-3). Visitors from the United Kingdom and other European countries reflect the cultural linkages existing between Europe and Canada (World Tourism Organization, 2000).

There is a marked degree of seasonality in Canadian tourism, with the August to September quarter receiving the largest percent (44 percent of the total visitors). International travel by Canadians is also highly seasonal, with most traveling in the summer. Also, the climate of Canada is in itself a major factor in summer travel. Much of the country experiences a northern continental climate with extremes of temperature that in the area of the Great Lakes are accompanied by high humidity in summer and abundant snowfall in winter.


The substantial ties between Canada and the United States and Europe are expressed in the fact that nearly 18 percent of foreign travelers listed visiting friends and relatives in Canada as the primary factor in their visit. Forty-eight percent of the arrivals were for the purpose of holiday or pleasure travel. Nearly 75 percent of foreign arrivals come by automobile, reflecting the proximity of the United States markets. Canada also benefits from this proximity as almost 30 million additional U.S. visitors come for one-day visits.

Three provinces--Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec--receive the bulk (82 percent) of overseas expenditures. All are near large United States population centers. In 1998, residents of the East North Central region of the United States registered the most overnight trips to Canada. They recorded 3.7 million trips, representing 5 percent of all one-or-more-nights travel to Canada by residents of the United States. The Middle Atlantic region (20 percent) followed by the Pacific region (19 percent) were the next two major contributors to Canada's tourism (Statistics Canada, 2000).

The numbers of total non-U.S. international visitors to Canada decreased in the late 1990s. Asia had the greatest percent of decrease, especially in Japan. The decrease in Asian tourism to Canada resulted from an economic slowdown in Asia at the same time. Because tourism is an example of discretionary spending, when the economy of a sending nation struggles, the number of its citizens traveling abroad for pleasure also decreases. This has certainly been true of Asian tourism to Canada in the last few years.


The province of Ontario is historically and currently the largest attraction for foreign tourists to Canada, particularly the city of Toronto and its environs. The second largest attraction is the province of Quebec, followed by the province of Alberta (Table 3-4). Although British Columbia is fourth in numbers of overnight international tourists, it has been increasing rapidly. In part this is the result of the large Asian community in the province, and in part because of growing numbers of U.S. visitors.

Canada's most outstanding tourism destinations and attractions have historically been its cities and its scenic natural attractions. Canada has an outstanding national park system and vast expanses of virgin forest lands with innumerable rivers and lakes of extraordinary beauty. These attractions are particularly intriguing to visitors from the relatively affluent and crowded countries of Japan, Germany, and other Western European nations. Visitors from the United States have traditionally been attracted by the fishing and hunting opportunities offered by their neighbors to the north, and resort areas such as the Laurentians and the Muskokas are heavily used.

The Canadian government has focused efforts on changing its image to potential tourists in an effort to increase the numbers of visitors. Canada has historically been viewed as a costly vacation with limited historical and cultural scope and as a nation of moose, Mounties, and mountains. In an effort to alter this perception, the government reviewed its tourist product in 1983 and identified eight major categories that are important for international tourism.


An outdoor product that is found primarily in sparsely populated areas catering to extended visits and characterized by outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, camping, and canoeing. Similar to the types of products found in Northern Minnesota, Northern Manitoba, and salmon fishing in Scotland.


The true wilderness product, characterized by inaccessibility, includes trophy hunting, fishing, safaris, rugged and unforgiving terrain, as in Canada's Arctic. Visitors generally require specialized equipment and qualified guides.


A leisure-oriented recreational product, easily accessed by local populations and suitable for day trips. These areas are characterized by numerous small-scale recreational and cultural products designed to cater to local populations, such as Southern Ontario.


Recreational product built on beach resources. Similar to leisure/recreation, but with a more significant destination area character that encourages extended visits (such as Prince Edward Island or other beach areas of the world).


Primary features of tourism region are based on either heritage or cultural travel generators and themes such as Quebec City or Dawson City.


Significant urban experience. Cities evaluated as local urban product were not classified as tourist destinations.


Tourism product characterized by numerous activities and considerable accommodation plant, either contained in a central or major resort product or in groupings of more numerous, smaller products, such as the Laurentians, the Poconos, and Majorca. For analysis of the Canadian product, this category distinguishes between four-season and seasonal resorts.


An area characterized by an amalgam of small scenic, heritage, and cultural resources, without a destination travel generator, such as the Gaspe Peninsula and the Lake District.


Newfoundland and Labrador

The island of Newfoundland plus Labrador on the mainland create one province. The newest province of Canada, Newfoundland has fishing, scenic, cultural, and historical attractions. Newfoundland as a destination receives the second smallest number of visitors of all the Canadian Provinces, attracting only 1.2 million overnight visitors a year, but about an equal number of same-day visitors yearly. Also, tourism is most seasonal in the Atlantic provinces in general. Most visitors are from the neighboring provinces and visit during the relatively short summer season.

Since the arrival of the first significant group of British settlers in Newfoundland, the economy has been based upon the sea. In recent years the economy has suffered from overfishing and the closure of military bases. Newfoundland's unemployment is the highest in Canada. It has turned to oil and tourism in an effort to boost its economy, but tourism is limited because of its location. Newfoundland is noted for its village landscapes with white, tall-spired churches and their adjacent cemeteries. The villages of Newfoundland differ from the New England villages in that they typically lack a village green; but many have covered bridges, which are common through all the maritime regions of Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador have more than 17,000 kilometers of coastline as well as two national parks and more than eighty provincial parks, providing numerous opportunities for sightseeing, camping, or wilderness adventures. A major focus of tourism is the St. John's area. St. John's is the capital and largest city. It is one of the oldest settlements in North America and is the eastern terminus of the Trans-Canada highway. It is named after John Cabot, who discovered Newfoundland on June 24, 1497. It was a contested area between the French and English until 1762, when the British defeated the French and recaptured St. John's. It has a number of national parks and museums that stress history and nature. Water Street in St. John's is the oldest business district on the continent, dating back to 1600. Gilbert Hill, where convicted criminals were executed, is another attraction. Fishing for cod and salmon is common in the area. Cabot Tower, located on Signal Hill, is where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received. Signal Hill National Historic Park is the site of the last battle of the French and English during the Seven Years' War in 1762. It also offers a spectacular view of the city, its harbor, and the adjacent coastline.

The tourist attractions in Newfoundland are associated with the early village and coastal life combined with beautiful coastal and mountain scenery. The Cape Spear Lighthouse is on the most easterly point of North America and is the oldest lighthouse in Newfoundland, serving as a marine beacon from 1836 to 1955. Cape Bonavista Lighthouse was built in 1843 and has been restored to the 1870 period. The Gros Morne National Park area has lakes, coves, fjords, and wildlife ranging from moose to black bear, volcanic sea stacks, caves, sand dunes, and scenic coastal overlooks. Whale watching at Trinity, a village dating back to 1500, is popular because the minke, humpback, and finback whales feed in Newfoundland's eastern fjords. The Hiscock House located in historic Trinity is restored to the 1910 period. At L'Anse-aux Meadows are a restored Viking settlement and a number of ancient Indian burial grounds, which remind visitors of the early history of the country dating back to A.D. 1000. In combination, Newfoundland's attractions led to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designating the area as a World Heritage Site in 1988.

Nova Scotia

Of the Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia is the most popular tourist destination with some 2.7 million overnight visitors a year, and 3.2 million same-day visitors yearly. Acadians established the first permanent European settlement north of Florida at Port Royal in Nova Scotia in 1605. During the next 100 years, Nova Scotia changed hands seven times. In 1713 England and France signed a peace treaty that gave mainland Nova Scotia to England and Cape Breton Island to France. The French built a fortress on Cape Breton Island, which was called Louisbourg. Many Acadians were scattered along the American coast in the British colonies, with a major settlement of Acadians (now called Cajuns in the United States) in the lower Mississippi River area, which was controlled then by France. After the defeat of the French in 1763, some Acadians returned to Nova Scotia and settled principally along the coast, relying on fishing for their livelihood.

Nova Scotia offers the visitor picturesque coastal seaside and fishing villages. Nova Scotia and Quebec are Canada's top two honeymoon destinations. The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton is one of the most spectacular drives in North America and a major destination for visitors to Nova Scotia. It is named after John Cabot and has many lookout points and scenic villages on its route through Cape Breton Highlands National Park and along coastal waters and villages.

The Alexander Graham Bell Museum exhibits Bell's accomplishments near his family home in Beinn Bhreagh. Bell appreciated the beauty of Cape Breton, stating, "I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps, and the Highlands of Scotland; but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all." Peggy's Cove is the most visited fishing village in the world. The cove's rugged beauty is part of a beautiful ocean-side drive through villages, historic colonial towns, and long white-sand beaches.

Louisbourg is the largest historical reconstruction in North America. Life portrayed within the fortress is a re-enactment of military and social existence in 1744. For five decades in the eighteenth century, Cape Breton was called Ile Royale, serving as France's Atlantic bastion. Louisbourg was its capital. It was twice conquered by the English.

Halifax, the world's second largest natural harbor after Sydney, Australia, is considered one of North America's most beautiful cities, complete with a harbor boardwalk system. It ranks as one of the major destinations for both domestic and international visitors. It was the first English settlement in Canada and has numerous architectural attractions including historic churches, government, and public buildings. The Citadel Fortress at Halifax is Canada's most visited historic site, Figure 3-6.

Picturesque Lunenburg lies in southern Nova Scotia. Founded in 1753 by German, Swiss, and French Huguenot settlers, Lunenburg has long been known for its shipbuilding, seafaring expertise, and natural beauty, Figure 3-7.

Nova Scotia is noted for its unique cultural traditions. The Scottish influence is emphasized in annual festivals as people dress in traditional Scottish costumes, bagpipe bands perform, and Scottish games and food are enjoyed on festive days. Distinctive events reflecting the culture of the area include the Gathering of the Clans and Fishermen's Regatta in Pugwash, the Antigonish Highland Games, the Annual Scotia Gaelic Mod, and the Festival of the Tartans in New Glasgow, in conjunction with another Gathering of the Clans.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is called the "picture province," and its scenery and natural phenomena are its most important attractions. New Brunswick is a forested region, with the notable exception of the Saint John River Valley, which is farmed intensively. The cities and villages of New Brunswick act as service centers for local areas of farming, fishing, and forestry.

St. John and its suburb Portland have developed serving two rich agricultural areas extending up the St. John and Kenebecasis rivers. Fredericton, a local service center and lumbering town, became the capital and center of higher education in New Brunswick. New Brunswick's most famous destination is the Bay of Fundy, with a tidal range that varies as much as fifty feet between low and high tide, the equivalent height of a four-story building. At Moncton, there is the tidal bore on the Petitrodiac River and Magnetic Hill, where drivers can stop their cars, set them in neutral, and seem to coast to the top of the hill. Near Moncton are the Hopewell Rocks, which Ripley describes as the world's largest flower pots. The rocks are huge, eerie, sandstone goblets sculpted by the tides over the years. They can be explored at low tide. Sixty miles south of Moncton is the Fundy National Park, and at St. John is the Reversing Falls. At low tide, the St. John River rushes into the bay, but at high tide the bay waters rise, seeming to send the river the other way.



St. John, the oldest incorporated city in the British Empire outside the British Isles, has many historical attractions, including the New Brunswick Museum, which is the oldest public museum in Canada, and Martello Tower, a fort from the War of 1812. The river road from St. John north is beautiful and very popular in the fall for its colorful autumn foliage. Near Fredericton, the architecture illustrates the life of the early English settlers. North is the Acadian Village, which illustrates the lifestyle of the Acadians, and the world's longest covered bridge.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is mainly a rural area and has the lowest amount of travel of all the Canadian provinces. Prince Edward Island is the smallest of the Canadian provinces with only 2,185 square miles of total area. In the past, accessibility has been a problem for this island territory with only limited air and ferry connections. Recent completion of a bridge connecting Prince Edward Island to the mainland will hopefully increase future tourism to the island. Attractions include the small capital city of Charlottetown with its historic Province House where the plan for a unified Canada was first discussed. While most islanders are descendants of early French, Scottish, English, and Irish settlers, the native Micmac people inhabited Prince Edward Island for a much longer period of time. The Micmac represent about 4 percent of the island's people. The island was discovered by the French explorer Jacques Cartier. The first white settlement was at Port-La-Jove, now Fort Amherst/Port-La-Jove National Historic Site, just across the harbor from Charlottetown. Later, the British occupied the island, deporting the Acadian settlers. Many ended up in southern Louisiana after stays in England and France. In the eighteenth century, it was noted for its shipbuilding around the town of Summershide. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries settlers came from Scotland and Ireland, adding to the cultural diversity of the island.

A number of attractions on the island are popular and worth visiting. The Green Gables House at Cavendish was the setting for Anne of Green Gables. Lobster festivals and sandy beaches are the principal attractions of the area. North Lake is famous for its large bluefin tuna, which average 600 pounds. The scenic drives on the island pass through picturesque fishing villages, along white sand dunes, red cliffs, and stunted fir and spruce trees.


Quebec is the largest province in the area, accounts for 25 percent of the population of Canada, and is the center of French-speaking Canadians. At the time of the establishment of the Canadian nation in 1867, the French-Canada region was largely rural. Montreal and Quebec City were the only urban centers. Quebec province was largely French in language and custom. The establishment of the federation of Canada guaranteed Quebec use of Latin-based French law instead of English common law; and it guaranteed religious liberty. It also established French as one of two national languages. The issue of separatism based on Quebec's special constitutional provisions recognizing it as a "distinct society" in Canada remains important in Canadian politics. Quebec is the only province for which the United States is not the single-most-important source for foreign visitors. Only 47 percent of Quebec's foreign visitors in 1998 were from the United States, compared with other provinces that receive from 60 to 80 percent of their international visitors from the United States.

The two major tourist destination centers are Quebec City and Montreal. Quebec City was one of the first French settlements in North America and, in spite of two centuries of English rule, it is still French. The French architecture and beautiful natural setting combine to make it one of the most beautiful cities in North America. Its rich history is expressed in its older sections. With narrow, cobblestone streets and a citadel, it is the only walled city in North America. The citadel is often referred to as the "Gibraltar of America." The narrow streets twist and turn from the Lower Town on the St. Lawrence River upwards to the Upper Town. Its rich history is expressed in the Basilica of Notre Dame Des Victoires, which was built in 1688; the hotel Chateau Frontenac; the Ursuline Convent; the Catholic Seminary; Parliament Buildings; the Provincial Museum; and the Bois de Coulange. The wall between Lower and Upper towns has been renovated into a wide promenade overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Figure 3-8.

Ile d'Orleans, an island in the St. Lawrence River below Quebec City, is connected to the mainland by a bridge. This picturesque island retains a great deal of its eighteenth-century French-Canadian architectural influence. "Carnival" is Quebec's famous winter festival. The Plains of Abraham is the site of the Battle of Quebec, which sealed the fate of New France in 1759. Near Quebec City is Sainte Anne De Beaupre, a small village dominated by a large cathedral. It is an internationally known religious shrine and attracts millions of pilgrims seeking to be healed. Just twenty-five minutes outside of Quebec City is the Mt. Sainte Anne ski resort.

Montreal, founded on an island in the St. Lawrence River, is one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in Canada. It is the most culturally diverse city in Quebec and the second most popular destination for tourists. The explorer Jacques Cartier discovered an Indian fort and settlement on Montreal Island. A French town grew on the site and became a strategic fur and lumbering trading center. The large French population makes it the second largest French-speaking city in the world. It is a cosmopolitan city with Old World charm expressed in the older sections of the city. Today Montreal is a large and modern city with excellent urban and international transportation.


The principal attractions are the city's rich history, cultural events, museums, and gardens. The Botanical Gardens are considered to be the third largest botanical gardens in the world, featuring some 20,000 species of plant life. The Old Quarter has sidewalk cafes and historic buildings, including Notre Dame Church, opened in 1829; Place Jacques Cartier, a cobble-stoned square, which was once the main marketplace; Chateau de Ramezay, a manor built in 1705; and Notre Dame de Bonsecours Chapel, the city's oldest church. Additional attractions are the civic center, which was built around the theme "Man and His World" on St. Helen's Island; Chinatown; the Dow Planetarium; Lafontaine Park; and the Olympic park. A new popular attraction is a jet boat tour on the Lachine Rapids, which departs from the old port.

The Gaspe Peninsula in eastern Quebec is a region of picturesque fishing villages, rolling hills, deep gorges, covered bridges, and rocky cliffs. The most impressive attraction is Perce Rock, a 400-million-ton landmark near the town of Perce. The rock juts some 300 feet out of the ocean. Just north of Montreal are the Laurentian Mountains, which have a number of popular resorts offering both winter and summer outdoor sports such as fishing, camping, hiking, and skiing.


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, large numbers of immigrants moved into what was then called Upper Canada, today's Southern Ontario. Many were former residents of the United States who were loyal to the King of England (Tories). They arrived because of the War of Independence. Other immigrants from the British Isles included Scots and Irish. The population grew rapidly, and Toronto became the largest city of the province. It is the largest metropolitan area in Canada today, with more than 4 million residents. The name Toronto is from the native language of the Huron people and means "the gathering place." Toronto is a prime example of the multicultural character of Canada's population, with approximately eighty different ethnic communities represented. Ontario remains the destination of the largest number of international tourists to Canada, and Toronto is the major destination city in all of Canada. Part of Toronto's attraction is its cultural diversity, including the largest Italian community outside of Italy. The cultural diversity is a major factor in explaining why Toronto has the highest proportion of non-Canadian tourists (49 percent) among its visitors of any city in Canada.

The population of Ontario is concentrated in the southeastern region of the province, located close to a number of United States cities that provide an abundance of visitors for short-term visits.

Ottawa's selection as the capital of Canada in 1858 ultimately transformed the former mill town into an important capital city of the world. The city is situated on a bluff overlooking the Ottawa River. Tourism's importance in the economy of Ottawa is only exceeded by government's. Ottawa-Hull ranks fourth in number of visitors in Canada.

The heart of Ottawa is the Parliament Buildings. They are a massive group of great stone Gothic buildings with copper roofs and spires. This area not only offers the best view of the area, but features one of Canada's outstanding summer attractions, the Changing of the Guard.

Ottawa has many important museums, including the Bytown Museum, illustrating the history of Ottawa; the Canadian Museum of Civilization; the Canadian Museum of Nature; the Canadian Ski Museum; the Canadian War Museum; the Lag Farm, a recreated farm of 1870; the Museum of Canadian Scouting; the National Aviation Museum; and the National Museum of Science and Technology.

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, completed in 1832, is a commercial waterway and leisure center. In the wintertime it becomes a five-mile skating rink. Ottawa is the home of a number of festivals, notably the Canadian Tulip Festival in the spring and the Winterlude centered around the ice-bound Rideau Canal. Near Ottawa at Beachburg is the site of white-water rafting on the Ottawa River.

Toronto is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada. It combines elements of the past with some of the most modern skyscraper landscapes of North America. The most outstanding tourist attraction is the world's tallest self-supporting structure, the CN Tower, Figure 3-9. In addition, the Metro Zoo, one of the finest in North America; winter sports; national museums and exhibits; and a number of ethnic neighborhoods are important attractions in Toronto. A visitor can take an ethnic tour through the various ethnic neighborhoods: Chinatown; Greek stores and restaurants; Little Italy; and Portuguese fish markets. The St. Lawrence Hall, Mackenzie House, and the Casa Loma, a castle built in 1911, are other important attractions.

The SkyDome hosts major sporting events and is home to the 1992 World Series Champions--the Toronto Blue Jays. The SkyDome is the world's only stadium with a fully retractable roof. It includes, in addition to a ball field and convention center, entertainment facilities such as movie theaters, health clubs, and restaurants.

Considerable effort has been made by Toronto citizens to develop a pleasing environment in an urban setting. Consequently, Toronto has a multitude of parks and wooded walks. The older buildings, such as the City Hall and Ontario Palace, blend in nicely with the modern buildings. Marineland, Game Farm, and Canada's Wonderland near Toronto offer live entertainment, rides, and various forms of family fun. Ontario Place, which is on the lake shore, has become a popular summer attraction, providing parks, lagoons, waterways, pubs, and restaurants. Toronto is the home of one of the world's top film festivals, the Festival of Festivals. Toronto also has other festivals in the summer, such as Caribana (the Caribbean festival) and Caravan (Toronto's multicultural festival).

The Toronto theater is appealing with "Broadway" shows such as Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon appearing regularly. Toronto has many theaters, and other cultural entertainment such as the ballet, opera, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.


Southwest of Toronto is the center of British culture and popular attractions. Common British names such as Windsor, Stratford, Chatham, London, Woodstock, Brantford, and the River Avon are scattered throughout the region. At Stratford one of the best Shakespearean Festivals in North America is held each summer.

The famed Niagara Falls is best seen from the Canadian side. Within the town of Niagara Falls sites include the Minolta Tower and aquarium; the Skylon Tower; Maple Leaf Village; and Marineland. Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the best preserved nineteenth-century towns in North America. It was originally named Newark and was the first capital of Upper Canada (Ontario) from 1791 to 1796. The Shaw Festival features plays by Bernard Shaw, from May to October.

The area between Toronto and Ottawa has many attractions including the long, narrow farms along the banks of the St. Lawrence; numerous provincial parks; white sand bluffs at Picton standing over 30 yards high; Upper Canada Village, an authentic re-creation of an 1867 pioneer village; and Old Fort Henry at Kingston, a dramatic nineteenth-century fort where military displays include the thunder of cannon fire.

Fort William in Thunder Bay is a re-creation of the pioneer heritage and life of the late eighteenth century. The Agawa Canyon provides a scenic trip departing from Sault Ste. Marie along mountain ledges, through dark forests, over rivers and gorges, across a trestle bridge, and into fjord-like ravines. There is an underground tour of the old nickel mine in Sudbury. Historical sites of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and the Huron Indian Village present a reconstructed sixteenth-century French mission and native community complete with longhouses and timber palisades. Across the road from this site is the Martyrs Shrine where martyred Jesuit missionaries are remembered.


Manitoba does not have a tourism industry comparable to that of Ontario and Quebec. It was not settled until late in the 1800s. The major groups were Mennonite settlers from Czarist Ukraine, French Canadians from New England, English, Scots, and Irish. Winnipeg's favorable location on newly constructed rail lines brought additional immigrants to settle and work the land. More recent immigrants of Asian and Caribbean ancestry have added to the ethnic diversity of the region. Although it is a prairie province, its terrain is varied--from the tundra and boreal forest of the north to the rolling, wooded parkland of the central region and the grain-rich plains of the south.

Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, contains more than half of the population of the province. It is Manitoba's largest tourist destination, with its government buildings and Royal Canadian Mint. The Museum of Man and Nature in Winnipeg includes an exhibit of a full-scale replica of the Nonesuch, the first ship to bring furs from the New World to Europe. The Winnipeg Art Gallery has one of the world's finest collections of Inuit art. The Folklorama in Winnipeg is a major festival at which some forty pavilions illustrate Winnipeg's various ethnic groups with food, dance, and entertainment. The French quarter is the largest Francophone community west of Quebec. Winnipeg is the only city between Toronto and Vancouver that is rated three-star by the Michelin Guide of Canada.

Outside of Winnipeg are other areas of interest, including Lower Fort Gary National Historical Park (the restored Hudson Bay Company supply center that dates back to the 1830s). Riding Mountain National Park provides typical camping experiences as well as the opportunity to watch buffalo. Thousands of lakes and woods offer excellent hunting and fishing opportunities. Far to the north is Churchill, Manitoba's northernmost settlement, on the shores of Hudson Bay. Churchill is a tourist center for observing the beluga whale, the polar bear migration, and the northern lights.


The development of the railroads in the late 1800s brought more and more settlers, largely second-generation immigrants, to the region in search of farming opportunities. The migrants created the rolling wheat fields of Saskatchewan, the bread basket of Canada.

The two leading tourist destinations are Regina and Saskatoon. At Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a training center and museum. The museum displays old equipment, weapons, uniforms, and photos documenting history of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The farming industry is represented in the Western Development Museum, with its pioneer machinery, vintage cars, and indoor prairie village. One of the newest attractions in Regina is the Science Center with exhibits on the human body, the living planet, astronomy, and geology.

The Medel Art gallery in Saskatoon has works by Chagall, Picasso, and Lawrence Harris. The only national park in Saskatchewan is Prince Albert National Park, which is known for its lakes and fishing. There are a number of historical parks and Saskatchewan's famous Big Buddy Badlands.


Alberta is the richest province in Canada and has a variety of spectacular scenery, from the flatlands of the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. It is a showcase of the splendors of the Rockies. The two most famous attractions in Alberta are Banff and Jasper national parks. Both are well-known for their outstanding scenery, with hot springs and ice fields. The most famous of the latter is the Columbia ice field, which is the largest permanent body of ice between the Arctic and Antarctic. Between Lake Louise and Jasper is one of the most scenic drives in Canada, Figure 3-10. Snow-capped peaks, wildlife, Peyto Lake, and the Athabasca Glacier are a few of the attractions along the trail. Two other attractive national parks in Alberta are Waterton Lakes and Wood Buffalo.

The two main destination cities of Alberta are Edmonton and Calgary. Edmonton ranks third in visitors for all Canadian cities. The big carnival in Edmonton is Klondike Days, and the most famous festival in Canada is the Calgary Stampede Rodeo in early July. The Edmonton Mall was the world's largest shopping mall and indoor amusement park until the Mall of the Americas was completed in Minneapolis in 1992. The Edmonton Mall's Water Park is the length of five football fields and offers water skiing and body surfing on artificial waves. Its roller coaster is twelve stories high. The Edmonton Space Sciences Center is Canada's largest planetarium, featuring an IMAX theater, observatory, and science exhibits. Historic Fort Edmonton Park includes villages depicting Edmonton in 1885, 1905, and 1920 plus a replica of a fur-trading post.


Calgary, the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, ranks fifth in visitors for Canadian cities. Calgary's 4.17 million annual person trips are very similar to number three Edmonton (4.27 million annual person trips) and number four Vancouver (4.19 million annual person trips). Like the rest of the West, however, these numbers are overshadowed by Toronto's 14 million annual person trips and Montreal's 11.8 million annual person trips. Two popular sites in Calgary are Heritage Park and the Calgary Tower. Heritage Park is a 66-acre park depicting a prairie railroad town with over 100 exhibits including operative steam trains and a paddlewheel boat. Calgary Tower provides a view of the city and surrounding area from either an observation terrace or the revolving restaurant. The Calgary Zoo, the second largest in Canada with over 1,400 animals and birds, also features a Prehistoric Park with many life-size replicas of ancient dinosaurs. The most famous attraction for visitors is the Calgary Stampede every July. Just west of Calgary is the Canada Olympic Park, which was the site of the luge and bobsled events during the Olympic Winter Games of 1988.

An hour and a half's drive northeast of Calgary is a dinosaur land in the Red Deer River Valley. The Dinosaur Trail includes the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology at Drumheller. The Drumheller Dinosaur and Fossil Museum features exhibits that explain the occupancy of the inland sea, petrified forests, coal formation, processes of fossilization, and many varieties of dinosaur remains found in the area.

British Columbia

The combination of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful wooded mountains, and a west coast marine climate makes British Columbia an outstanding destination for tourists. Culturally, its residents were mostly English with small groups of Russian, German, Japanese, and Chinese. The more recent heavy migration from Asia, particularly of Chinese, has created a new ethnic mix. British Columbia has nearly 17,000 miles of beautiful fjord-like coastlines, inland lakes, emerald forests of Douglas fir, and great rivers that breed more salmon than any place in the world. Both Vancouver Island and the entire region have wild and beautiful natural settings that do not fail to impress visitors. Settings for a variety of water sports are available, from well-kept, long, sandy beaches to fishing for salmon in the bays and fast-running rivers. Beautiful gardens and parks abound throughout the region. A short distance from the city of Vancouver are Vancouver

Island and the provincial capital Victoria, which is a major destination for visitors (see Figure 3-11). Vancouver Island also includes the world-famous Buchart Sunken Garden. Victoria claims to be more British than England, complete with big red double-decker buses. The center of historic buildings is the inner harbor with the Victorian-era Parliament Buildings, beautifully outlined at night with thousands of sparkling lights, Figure 3-12.

Vancouver is a new city with modern architecture and the second largest Chinatown in North America. The University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology contains exceptional Northwest Indian art, including totem poles, ceremonial objects and other artifacts. The historic Gastown area was the original settlement and has buildings dating back to the 1800s. The thousand-acre Stanley Park borders the sea and provides a dazzling view of the city, port, and north-shore mountains. Just two hours north of Vancouver is the famous ski resort Whistler/ Blackoomb.

Vancouver Island has sea caves, rain forests, mountain peaks, and a range of wildlife. Grey whales feed at Schooner Cove, and sea lions bask in the sun on the rocks. The interior of the province through the Caribou-Chilcotin range offers exciting views of deep canyons, impressive mountains, and the Indian villages of Ksan, Kispiox, Kitwanga, and Kitwancool with their totem poles.

The various areas of British Columbia also have tourist attractions related to the history and culture of the province. The Fort St. James National Historical Park illustrates the fur trade era of the 1880s in the Northwestern region. The Bakerville Historic Town takes visitors back to the gold rush dates of the 1860s and 1870s.



Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories span four time zones with a population of only 42,000 people. The environment is important to the region for ecotourism and preservation. Four rivers are part of the Canadian Heritage River System, and four national parks (of which two are UNESCO World Heritage Sites) serve as examples of the region's commitment to preservation.

Tourism is important to this sparsely populated north land, home to the Inuit and Dene Indians. Total numbers of tourists are low, however, due to the isolation of the region. The land of the midnight sun, with its short summer and beautiful, picturesque flowers, has tremendous fishing opportunities. The primitive nature of the area is a unique attraction in itself. Opportunities abound to watch all types of creatures in their natural habitats. Visitors can observe great gatherings of sea mammals (beluga and bowhead whales, narwhals and tusked walruses, ringed and bearded seals) and land mammals (moose, mountain sheep, bearded muskoxen, grizzly bears, and polar bears).


From May through July the sun never sets. Golfers can tee off at midnight, which they do at the Western Midnight Sun Golf Tournament at Yellowknife. It is an outdoor wonderland for active people. A visitor can hike the boreal forest in search of nesting birds and hardy wildflowers or rigorously climb amid the rock spires of Baffin Island's Auyuittuq National Park. Visitors may canoe or raft through the legendary Nahanni River and view the magnificent Virginia Falls (which are twice as high as Niagara Falls). Other attractions include fishing for fat Arctic char, kayaking the ice-floe edge where seals play, driving a dog team, hunting for polar bear using dog teams, or camping in igloos or tents on ice floes. Cultural attractions include meeting various native people and going to museums such as the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center, which traces the history of the Northwest Territories. Native artifacts, crafts, and paintings are also displayed in the Center. In the past decade, ecotourism to the Northern Rivers, exploration of the Arctic, Inuit village stays, whale watching, seal flow observations, and sea kayaking have become more popular (Figure 3-13).

Yukon Territory

Many visitors combine travel to Alaska with visits to the Yukon, making tourism an important part of the economy. Many cruise ships and Alaskan ferries stop at Skagway, where passengers can take the train or motorcoach to Whitehorse over the historic White Pass on the Klondike Highway. Many visit Dawson from Alaska itself; thus, Dawson and Whitehorse are two heavily visited cities. Booming centers in gold rush days, both are now important tourist centers. Dawson City has Canada's only legal gambling casino, and there are many reminders of the glory days of the gold rush. Diamond Tooth Gertie's and the Palace Grand Theater/Gaslight Follies provide gold rush-era entertainment.

Whitehorse is another city re-creating the gold rush days, with the Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue and the MacBride Museum. It also includes the important Yukon Gardens, Canada's only northern botanical gardens. Here, flora and vegetation of the territory and the Old Log Church Museum are found. Hikers who wish to re-create the gold rush era can follow the "Trail of '98," the Chilkoot Trail from Skak-way, Alaska, to Bennet Lake.

Nunavut Territory

In the Far North of Canada flanking Hudson's Bay and including the Arctic islands of Canada is the newest political unit in North America--the territory of Nunavut. Occupying one-fifth of the total territory of Canada, this new territory is inhabited by only 27,692 people. Nunavut has three official languages: Inuktitut, English, and French. In the native language the name of the territory means "our land." Major settlements like the capital, Iqaluit, have only a few thousand inhabitants. Most of the people of the territory are Inuit, descendants of Canada's First Nations, the Native Americans occupying North America when the first Europan explorers and colonists arrived. The majority of the residents of Nunavut still rely on traditional economic activities such as hunting and fishing for their livelihood. Because much of the territory lies north of the Arctic Circle, summers are short but with little or no darkness, while winters are long and dark.

Tourism attractions in Nunavut are primarily classified as adventure or wilderness tourism. There are no roads connecting the territory with the rest of Canada, and tourists must fly into the capital Iqaluit and transfer to boats or small planes to visit even more remote areas. Attractions include the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit, which contains historical Inuit artifacts, tools, and clothing; hiking, camping, hunting (with cameras or weapons), and fishing; and a variety of national parks and wilderness attractions. Significant national parks are found on Baffin Island (Auyuittuq, Sirmilk) and Ellesmere Islands to the north, which have beautiful mountain scenery, glaciers, fjords, and rushing streams that provide fishing and camping for the few visitors.



The United States has a large and varied tourism industry, with a combination of public and private organizations. The United States is the world's third largest market for international tourism, with European destinations such as France and Germany typically ranking ahead in total numbers. The United States' competitiveness as a destination for international tourists is impressive, considering that unlike France and Germany the United States does not border a large number of wealthy countries from which to draw tourists (Figure 3-14). The United States as a source of tourists to other countries is likewise important, because U.S. tourists spend more money abroad than those of any other country.

Almost all states have a state tourist agency of some form or another. The principal task of these agencies is to promote travel to and through their respective states. They accomplish this task by researching existing travel patterns in the state and by sponsoring promotional campaigns for state tourism.

There are a number of specific organizations serving the private sectors of the industry. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) was created to provide service and information to travel agents and to establish an ethical code of conduct. The umbrella organization for the entire private industry is a nonprofit organization called Travel Industry Association of America. The United States Travel and Tourism Ad ministration (USTTA), which was headed by an assistant secretary of tourism under the umbrella of the United States Department of Commerce, has been replaced by a public/private National Tourism Organization (NTO). The goal of the organization is to make the United States the premier travel destination in the world. A problem does exist in that there is no provision for federal funding.

In 1999 more than 48 million international travelers visited the United States, Table 3-5. This was approximately 7 percent of total world international travel. Canada's 14 million tourists and Mexico's 10 million account for 49.5 percent of all international visitors to the United States. The percent of total international visitors to the United States from Canada and Mexico declined rather consistently during the last years of the twentieth century from a high of 77 percent of all international arrivals in 1977. This decline reflects the increasing speed and relatively lower costs of overseas travel to the United States during the same time period. Although overseas visitors are increasingly important as a part of U.S. international tourism, nearly one-half of all international visitors are still from either Canada or Mexico.

Over the decade from 1965 to 1975, international travel to the United States increased nearly 10 percent a year, in contrast to the almost 7 percent at which the overall international travel market increased. In the five-year period from 1977 to 1982, it experienced an 18 percent increase. The increasing United States travel market is seen more dramatically in the growth rate for national income from tourism, in which the world increase in the decade from 1965 to 1975 was 12 percent and the United States increase ranged from 14 to 17.3 percent annually. From 1986 to 1993 tourism to the States more than doubled.

There was a dramatic increase in tourism from overseas countries (defined as those not bordering the United States) between 1977 and 1999. In 1977, overseas countries represented less than one-fourth of all foreign arrivals, but by 1999 they represented more than one-half of all international visitors. Other shifts in tourist arrivals include Japan replacing the United Kingdom as the number one overseas source of tourists to the United States. In 1965, Japan ranked sixth in overseas arrivals, with 44,385 arrivals. Since 1983, it has ranked first in overseas arrivals. Japan's rapid tourism growth reflects its economic growth and the introduction of affordable package tours in the Japanese tourist industry.

Europe accounts for slightly more than 43 percent of all overseas tourist arrivals. This is due to its wealth, its longer vacation time, and its political and economic ties with the United States. Asia, especially Japan, is the second largest contributor to foreign tourism in America, with 28 percent of the overseas visitors. Asia is followed by South America, with 12 percent, and the Caribbean, with 5 percent of overseas visitors. Both inbound and outbound international travel was strongly affected by the September 11 terrorist acts on New York and Washington. International travel to the United States fell 12.7 percent during the last quarter of 2001 compared to the same period the previous year. Excluding travel from Canada and Mexico the number of arrivals fell over 17 percent. Travel expenditures by Americans fell 7.6 percent over the previous year but began to increase in 2002. Barring further terrorist events tourism should return to its earlier levels.

The United States Travel and Tourism Administration's survey of potential visitors from eleven major world countries indicated the following destinations were the eight most popular: Grand Canyon; Los Angeles and Disneyland; Las Vegas; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; Orlando and Disneyworld; and San Francisco.

United States Travelers Abroad

In the 1990s over 50 million citizens of the United States traveled abroad each year, Table 3-6. Canada is the principal destination of United States tourists, accounting for nearly 33 percent of all U.S. travelers. Canada's proximity, favorable costs, similar culture in a multicultural context, and distinctive and attractive cities and natural attractions are all factors affecting American visitors. Mexico is the second largest destination for U.S. travelers, with slightly more than 27 percent of American tourist travel to that country.

The two major destinations of overseas trips are Europe (41 percent of trips) and the Caribbean (9.2 percent of trips). The historical ties of Europe to the United States combine with favorable airfares and charters to attract American travelers to Europe. The Caribbean was the largest growth area in the 1980s and 1990s due to the increased attractiveness of airfares and increased demand for cruises.

Domestic Tourism

The travel industry is the second largest industry in the United States. Americans spend some $500 billion on trips of over 25 miles, generating 9.2 million travel industry jobs. In 1997, the automobile dominated, providing the means of transportation for 79 percent of pleasure trips. Air travel was proportionately greater for people traveling to attend conventions and conduct business, but still clearly second to the automobile. The heavy-use patterns of the automobile are simply an extension of the modern United States in which the auto is important in all private phases of life. The development of advanced freeway systems and relatively inexpensive gasoline have led to this high use of the automobile.

Tourist Destinations and Attractions

The attractions of the United States are diverse and multiple due to the size of the country, its culture, and economic development. The top tourist attractions in the United States reflect that diversity. Orlando, Florida, with its variety of theme parks is the number one destination for both international and domestic tourists in the United States. The single largest attraction in 1998 was the Magic Kingdom at Disney World with 15.6 million visitors, followed closely by Disneyland in Anaheim, California. However, the diversity of attractions in the United States means that even the Magic Kingdom attracts less than 10 percent of all domestic and international tourists. There is a wide geographic distribution and variety in the theme parks in the United States. There are twenty theme parks in the United States that attract 3 million or more visitors each year. National parks are another major attraction, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee receiving some 10 million visitors yearly (although many of these may reflect combining an automobile trip to Disney World with a visit to this park located between the heavily populated Northeast coastal cities and Florida). Other major attractions include the cities of the country, with New York City, Los Angeles, and other major metropolitan areas attracting tens of millions of visitors annually for their museums, plays, shopping, and other attractions.

The events of September 11th had a tremendous impact on tourism in the United States. Total domestic trips in the United States declined by some 35 million trips, most accounted for in the last quarter of 2001. As travel began to increase later in 2001 pleasure trips were shorter, closer to home and by car. This trend continued into the first quarter of 2002 although domestic travel began to recover. The Travel Industry Association of America indicated that while lodging grew 7.5 percent in January 2002 over December 2001, lodging was down 4.9 percent over the same month in 2000. In lodging there were more vacancies and rates were down.

The industry began to recover in 2002 and it is anticipated that the absence of new terrorist acts will allow it to continue to improve, but it will be some time before it again reaches the levels of 2000, possibly not until 2004. Regardless, travel in the United States will be somewhat different with more security at airports and the likelihood for the near future of shorter, automobile oriented trips.

New York and Washington's tourism was devastated as a result of the attack of September 11. However, tourism in the first quarter of 2002 was also beginning to increase in the two cities. There was a greater fear factor to be overcome by domestic visitors to these two destinations when compared to other destinations in the United States, which may indicate a slower recovery for the tourism industry of the two cities. Gambling (technically known as gaming) has been growing dramatically in the United States and has become a major part of the tourism industry. Connecticut has one of the largest and most attractive casinos (Foxwood). Every state with the exception of Hawaii and Utah has some form of legalized gaming. For many states, gambling includes Native American--owned establishments because they are able to offer gaming if there is any form of legal gambling in a state.

Nine travel regions in the United States have been identified by the United States Travel Data Center for the purpose of data gathering and analysis of travel in the country. The regions provide both a convenient geographic grouping for tourism analysis and readily available statistics to allow meaningful comparisons between regions.

                                      Square    Population
Province                 Capital       Miles      (2000)

Alberta               Edmonton        257,287    2,997,236
British Columbia      Victoria        365,948    4,063,760
Manitoba              Winnipeg        250,947    1,147,800
New Brunswick         Fredericton      28,355      756,598
Newfoundland and      St. John's      155,649      538,823
Northwest Territory   Yellowknife     589,315       42,683
Nova Scotia           Halifax          21,425      940,996
Nunavut               Iqaluit         733,594       27,692
Ontario               Toronto         412,581   11,669,344
Prince Edward         Charlottetown     2,185      138,928
Quebec                Quebec City     594,860    7,372,448
Saskatchewan          Regina          251,866    1,023,636
Yukon                 Whitehorse      186,661       30,663

Source: Adapted from Statistics Canada, 2000.

New England

With its coasts, mountains, forests, and rich colonial history, New England provides excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation, sightseeing, and entertainment. Winter sports and summer coastal activities are readily available to prospective tourists. Population in the summer resorts along the coast and on the small islands increases dramatically during the summer. The rich colonial history of the area is evident in restored villages (cultural centers) and historical sites. The beauty of the fall season is nationally recognized, attracting people from all over to enjoy the colorful fall foliage of the season. These attributes, coupled with proximity to the populous Great Lakes region and New York, bring many tourists to New England to sightsee, participate in outdoor recreation, and enjoy the entertainment available in the urban centers, Figure 3-15.



Connecticut's picturesque countryside is dotted with gracefully spired, white-frame churches and small cities. The two largest cities, Hartford and New Haven, are the two major visitor centers. In Hartford, the Mark Twain Memorial and the Connecticut State Library Museum are important attractions aside from the capital itself. At New Haven, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Peabody Museum of Natural History on the grounds of Yale University and the nearby Green and Grove Street Cemetery, where Noah Webster and Eli Whitney are buried, are the major attractions. A host of other cities provide glimpses of New England's past. Mystic, which was the center of early whaling and shipbuilding, has the nation's largest outdoor maritime museum. It has sailing ships, oldtime shops, over sixty buildings, museums, and craftsmen demonstrations.



Maine is the home of Acadia National Park, New England's only national park. The park occupies nearly one-half of Mt. Desert Island and other smaller islands. It is a sea-lashed granite coastal area with forested valleys, lakes, and mountains. Bar Harbor is the entrance to Acadia National Park. Although there is no other national park, the Maine woods, filled with spruce, fir, cedar, birch, and maple are considered Thoreau country. The two major towns are Bangor and Portland. Bangor is the gateway to excursions in the Maine woods. The Rangeley Lakes, Baxter State Park, and Sebago are easily reached from Bangor. Portland, the childhood home of the poet William Wadsworth Longfellow, which was built in 1785, exhibits the furnishings and personal belongings of the family. Portland, located on beautiful Casco Bay, has stately old homes, historic churches, and charming streets.


Massachusetts is the most populous New England state and has many important attractions. Boston is the capital of the state, but it is also a city whose history is an integral part of the entire United States. The Freedom Trail and the Boston Commons (the oldest public park in America) illustrate the history of the city and the nation. It was at the Boston Commons that the British troops assembled for their march on Lexington and Concord. Along the Freedom Trail is the Old North Church, from which the invasion of the British was signaled to Paul Revere, as well as other famous sites. These include Bunker Hill Monument, the ship the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), and the Old Granary Burying Ground, with the headstones of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and others (including one for Mother Goose). The modern city includes an array of important structures, including the Christian Science Center and a striking example of modern architecture, the John F. Kennedy Library. Across the river from Boston is Cambridge, which also has numerous historical sites including the location where Washington took command of the Continental Army in July 1775, the Longfellow National Historic Site, and Harvard University. At Lexington Green and Concord Bridge, visitors can reflect on the American Revolution at the Minute Man National Historical Park and the Minuteman Statue facing the replica of the Old North Bridge.


Near Boston is the Plymouth Plantation, Figure 3-16, a re-created historical village where the Pilgrims landed in 1620. Its exhibits illustrate housing, shops, and crafts of these early settlers of the United States. Cape Cod National Seashore is the home of New England's oldest and most popular resorts. Cape Cod has numerous museums, nature trails, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, picnic grounds, fresh- and saltwater marshes, luxuriant forests, and migrating sand dunes.

Old Sturbridge Village between Boston and Springfield is a re-creation of an old New England farm community, complete with villagers in period dress demonstrating the crafts and trades of New England between 1790 and 1840. At Springfield is the National Basketball Hall of Fame, located in honor of Dr. James S. Naismith, who founded the sport here in 1891.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire contains less than one-tenth of the region's population. Mount Washington, the most famous mountain in New Hampshire, is a ski area and summer scenic region. The cog railway up Mount Washington provides a view into five states and Canada. Franconia Notch is a dramatic eight-mile gorge. Also part of the White Mountains is the Old Man of the Mountain, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is a 40-foot-high naturally carved stone face on Mt. Cannon. The two major cities of New Hampshire are Manchester and Portsmouth. Portsmouth, the more popular of the two, is famous for its historical houses, including the John Paul Jones House. With its narrow streets, the older section around Market Square reminds the visitor of the merchant seamen who called Portsmouth home.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's two major cities of Providence, the capital, and Newport are the chief tourist centers. Providence illustrates the architectural heritage of the pre-revolutionary period in many of its buildings. Roger Williams founded Providence while seeking religious freedom. Many of the streets in the city still bear names that Williams gave them such as Benefit, Benevolent, Friendship, and Hope. Slater Mill in nearby Pawtucket was built in 1793 and marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in America.

Newport is a center of water sports such as yachting and sailing and the world-famous Newport Jazz Festival. The Touro Synagogue, which was built in 1763, is the oldest synagogue in the United States. On the cliffs overlooking the ocean are many mansions, including the Breakers, a colonnaded four-story mansion overlooking Rhode Island Sound that was built for Cornelius Vanderbilt. Newport is also the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Tennis Museum.


Vermont advertises a green mountain landscape dotted with small towns and covered bridges. It is a popular ski area for the northeast, with world-class resorts such as Stowe, Sugarbush, Killington, Mount Snow, Smugglers Notch, and Bolton Valley. Vermont's granite rock is the basis for the world's largest granite quarry at Barre, from which comes granite used all across the United States. Like the other New England states, the fall foliage is one of the most important tourist attractions.

State           Capital      Square Miles     (2000)

Connecticut     Hartford         5,544       3,405,565
Maine           Augusta         33,741       1,274,923
Massachusetts   Boston           9,241       6,349,097
New Hampshire   Concord          9,283       1,235,786
Rhode Island    Providence       1,231       1,048,319
Vermont         Montpelier       9,615         608,827

Source: Adapted from U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2001.
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Title Annotation:Part 1: Physical Characteristics-New England
Publication:Geography of Travel & Tourism, 4th ed.
Geographic Code:100NA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:Chapter 2 Geography and tourism: patterns and processes of world tourism.
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