Learning Travel Resources


In 1996 the Canadian Tourism Commission's (CTC) Industry and Product Development Committee launched the Product Club Program. Its objectives were to increase the range and quality of tourism products in Canada, build business networks to increase the exchange of information and to encourage cooperative ventures and partnerships. Product Clubs were designed to assist small and medium-sized businesses to overcome impediments to tourism growth in a given geographic area or industry sectors.

North to Knowledge (N2K) Learning Travel Product Club

N2K was launched in October 2002. A Yukon initiative, it focused on the creation of learning travel products that positioned the North as a vibrant, exciting, high quality destination for learning travel experiences. N2K emphasized the development of cultural, arts, educational, adventure and First Nation related learning travel products.

N2K's main projects included creating a business to business website, encouraging partnerships with regional operators and associations (Yukon, BC, and NWT) as well as national learning travel associations, designing and delivering product development workshops and creating a "how-to-do" learning tourism workbook.

N2K's mandate as a CTC learning travel product club was completed in September 2005. However, part of N2K's "legacy" is to ensure that information and resources developed and collected from 2002-2005 are made available to tourism industry operators, businesses, and organizations, among others, that are interested in knowing more about learning travel.

For more information on the CTC and its current programs go to:www.canadatourism.com

What is learning travel?

"Have you ever excavated an archaeological site then 'travelled the path' of an artifact? Stepped behind the scenes into a world-class cooking school and winery? Contributed to the well being of a national park? This and much, much more abounds in Canada's natural, cultural, historical, and artistic wonderland. An emerging opportunity is on the horizon for Canada's tourism industry. Also known as "enrichment travel" or "educational tourism", learning travel is one of the fastest-growing travel segments worldwide.

Learning travel is a concept. It involves a series of formal and informal learning, travel, and social activities that, when cleverly packaged, engages people in memorable 'ed-ventures'. Its unique selling proposition is quality-learning experiences, delivered by dynamic resource specialists. Privileged access to behind the scenes opportunities, not typically available to the general public is paramount. Educational travellers are willing to pay a premium for these experiences.

Strategically choreographed learning vacation itineraries usually follow a theme, but can be built around a mix of opportunities representative of the host community's distinctive assets. Participatory activities, led by subject matter experts, result in personal growth and lasting memories for the traveller. Traditionally a small group tour product (6 to 50 travellers), catering to the affinity market, there is evidence of an emerging demand for FIT and family products." - Nancy Arsenault in CTC's monthly newsletter "Communiqué", Volume 5, Issue 5, June 2001.

For more information on Learning Travel, visit the Canadian Experience Travel Network (CETN) website: www.cetn.ca

CETN is a specialized travel directory that represents the talented Canadians and extraordinary Canadian experiences that broaden the mind and enrich the soul.

Search their travel database and discover information on wineries, interpretive wine tours, culinary vacations and cooking workshops, wildlife-viewing, natural history, festivals, theatre workshops, guided garden walks, aboriginal performances, arts and cultural experiences, museum activities, tour operators, and sample itineraries.


Useful ideas for product development

The Learning Travel Product Development Workbook: A step-by-step guide for Yukon and northern entrepreneurs

The Learning Travel Product Development Workbook (2.2MB pdf): A step-by-step guide for Yukon and northern entrepreneurs has been designed primarily for the independent entrepreneur who wants to develop a learning activity or program for tourism purposes. From a tourism industry standpoint, this activity or program is called a "learning travel product." The workbook will be most useful for small business visionaries who are looking for information on how to develop a learning travel product for this special interest tourism market. It will also be useful for visionaries in the business or not-for-profit sectors who want to enhance their activities by developing a tourism product for this market, or by integrating the principles and characteristics of learning travel to an already operating tourism oriented activity. 

Learning Travel Themes

Taken from the Canadian Enrichment Travel Network's travel and tourism guide, these themes can assist you in your efforts to design travel experiences, day activities and vacation packages. Organized by learning and enrichment theme from coast to coast, each theme provides questions and ideas that can give you the inspiration you need to get started or to enhance a product you may already have in-mind or developed.

Canada Learning Travel Themes (33KB pdf)

Market Research to support business and product development activities


The IATOS Expo (108KB pdf) (International Adventure Travel and Outdoor Sports Show, Chicago, February 2003) provided the CTC's Outdoor Product Development group with the opportunity to survey the show's outdoor enthusiast attendees. While international in its name, and with an international roster of exhibitors, the respondents were predominantly from the state of Illinois. Results can therefore not be generalized to the entire American outdoor enthusiast population, but can rather provide a base of information for one market of outdoor enthusiasts. Importantly, the report also reveals some significant findings that help us better understand the learning travel market. Here's one highlight from the report:

When provided with a list of statements to describe the type of activities and travel that they enjoy, the most popular statement chosen indicated an enjoyment of learning while travelling ("I like to learn about nature, culture and the environment").

Other findings from the report that refer to learning travel have been highlighted with blue shading in the document you can read from this site.

For your convenience, the learning travel related information has been highlighted in blue.

Cruise Market Overview and Market Assessment For A Cultural Centre in Carcross

An extensive report (673KB pdf) prepared for the Four Mountains Resort and Cultural Centre and North 2 Knowledge.

Defining Tommorow's Tourism Product - Packaging Experiences(544KB pdf) Experiental, learning, and enrichment travel are terms emerging with increased frequency in the travel media as new travel opportunities are promoted and the factors influencing traveller's choices are reported. The demand is growing for travel that engages the senses, stimulates the mind, includes unique activities, and connects in personal ways with travellers on an emotional, physical, spiritual or intellectual level. Report taken from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) Official Business site - Research 2004-07

How to Start an ElderHost Program in your Community (2.43MB pdf) a detailed report on the process and outcome of the Fort Selkirk Elder Host Program that was held in August 2004 at the Fort Selkirk Historical Site.

A Feasibility Study for a Yukon Health and Wellness Tourism Industry Part One (428KB pdf), Part Two appendix (2.48KB pdf) This study explores the potential to create and package a variety of wellness vacation experiences in Yukon and what other jurisdictions in Canada are already doing.

Useful learning travel and related websites

Canadian Experience Travel Network (CETN):

CETN is a specialized travel directory that represents the talented Canadians and extraordinary Canadian experiences that broaden the mind and enrich the soul.

Search their travel database and discover information on wineries, interpretive wine tours, culinary vacations and cooking workshops, wildlife-viewing, natural history, festivals, theatre workshops, guided garden walks, aboriginal performances, arts and cultural experiences, museum activities, tour operators, and sample itineraries.

Yukon Territorial Government Tourism Industry Research Centre:

The Tourism Industry Resource Centre is designed to meet research and information needs of clients and staff by providing tourism related research tools and guidance. The Centre is operated by the Tourism Product Development & Research unit, Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Yukon.

Adventure Learning Foundation

ALF is an Internet-based non-profit organization that provides curricula enhancing materials to educators based on online Adventure Learning Expeditions. Go to "Yukon" for territory specific resources and information.


Developed as an information clearinghouse, this web site was the first to connect environmental and tourism reporting by focusing on ecotourism. While focused on ecotourism, the site provides forums that help coordinate the work of individuals, communities, organizations, businesses and government offices that are pursuing holistic development strategies with a broad application to different types of tourism.

Tourism Education Website

The purpose of this website is to provide a list of resources and links for tourism educators and students.

Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA)

The TTRA provides access to research and information to support tourism development and marketing efforts. Facilitates network with peers throughout the industry. Go to the "Resources" section of the TTRA site to access travel research articles.

Need some ideas for learning travel product development? 

...Or maybe you just want some information on how others have put together a learning travel experience. You might even just want some inspiration to help get you started. The following links can help you out:

Arts in the Wild

An alliance of some 23 arts organizations and tourism operators based in Ontario brings you the enjoyment of the great outdoors while you create an original work of art.

Learning Vacations

A unique collection of adventure and educational travel programs. Programs range from cooking schools in Italy to walking tours in Costa Rica.

Cultural Travels

Cultural Travels possesses the world's largest database of specialty tour operators and features a 300-megabyte database and web site of interactive tour operator listings with e-commerce capability.

Smithsonian Journeys

An assortment of quality educational travel programs.

Routes to Learning Canada

Formerly "Elderhostel Canada", "Routes to Learning Canada" is a not-for-profit, charitable organization developing, providing and coordinating educational travel programs for Canadians and visitors to Canada.

Other Web Resources:

WTAY resource links page