MMGY Travel Intelligence and Enlightn Strategies, advisors in the CBD- and cannabis-related tourism space, have found that 29 percent of all active leisure travelers (and 18 percent of all Americans) are interested in cannabis-related activities on vacation. These were among the key findings from a new report, Cannabis Tourism: Opportunities, Issues and Strategies, which sought to determine U.S. travelers’ interest in and understanding of recreational cannabis-related products, experiences and services when vacationing.
Cannabis experiences that motivate respondents to travel include visiting a dispensary, trying CBD- and THC-infused edibles or drinks, experiencing a spa treatment with a CBD product, or sampling cannabis in a safe environment. Six out of 10 (57 percent) said they would likely participate in cannabis-related activity where recreational use is legal. In fact, a quarter have already traveled to a destination to have a cannabis experience, with 44 percent of Millennials and Gen Zers already having done so. Nearly one-quarter of Gen Xers (23 percent) and 14 percent of Baby Boomers have.
Note: Among participants, one-third have not consumed cannabis previously. Millennials and Gen Z were most likely to have consumed cannabis (79 percent), while Gen X followed with 65 percent; Boomers trailed just behind Gen X at 62 percent.
Cannabis is now legal in 11 U.S. states and Washington D.C. for recreational use and can be enjoyed by vacationers in many forms. The survey shows that 87 percent of respondents believe that the recreational use of cannabis will be legal in most states within the next few years, and two-thirds of respondents have positive feelings toward legalizing cannabis for recreational use. Further, where recreational use of cannabis is both legal and regulated, it is also perceived to be relatively safe.
With that said, there is confusion among respondents about where people can possess and consume cannabis in destinations where recreational use is legal: Over half (54 percent) thought people can be arrested for possessing cannabis in destinations where it has been legalized for recreational use.
The report points out that the legality of accessibility of CBD and hemp broaden the reach to a wider audience of travelers. Specifically, there is a wellness component to cannabis tourism, and it drives home the importance of brand positioning and terminology used. To note, three-quarters (76 percent) of participants said they were interested in “learning more about the presumed health benefits of consuming/using cannabis products.”
The report continues, saying that cannabis can be a differentiator and offers a competitive advantage for destinations where legal and there is an opportunity for these destinations to formalize a cannabis tourism strategy to reach this audience.
The survey, conducted March 3 – 10, included a random sample of 1,501 respondents, who were 21 years of age or older, have an annual household income of at least $50,000, have taken at least one overnight domestic trip for leisure purposes during the past 12 months and are interested in participating in at least one cannabis-related activity while on a vacation.
Source: MMGY Travel Intelligence