What travel may look like for Canadians later this year—What’s “In” and what’s “Out”

What travel may look like

While we were safely hunkered down in the house in 2020, spending money on home renovations and décor, this year a study shows that Canadians are prioritizing travel and socking away some money for future vacations. That is according to the results of a national online survey conducted by Development Counselors International (DCI). Tania Kedikian, Account Manager in the Toronto office recently reported some of the highlights of the findings –including what’s in and what’s out when it comes to travel, in a webinar presented to the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) called 5 Insights into the Path to Purchase for Canadian Travellers in 2021.  Please note that this survey was taken last August prior to second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent border closing and the webinar and Toronto Times interview happened just prior to the current flight restrictions to Caribbean destinations and enhanced travel restrictions.) 

“What’s in” as far as respondents are concerned is safe and secure destinations, and quality accommodations with strict COVID-19 protocols in place,” says Tania. “The other big takeaway was that Canadians want warm weather (79% of respondents are interested in a warm, sunny beach destination) with an abundance of natural beauty. They also want to be able to connect with the local culture and sample local culinary experiences.”

Development Counselors International (DCI). Tania Kedikian, Account Manager in the Toronto office

Top of mind international travel destinations selected by respondents include North America (43%), Caribbean (41%), Western Europe (34%), Central and Eastern Europe (22%), Northern Europe (21%), and South Asia (21%). Preferred Caribbean destinations include The Bahamas (36%), Cuba (31%), Dominican Republic (29%), Jamaica (28%) and Barbados (22%). Other preferred travel destinations that made the want-to-visit list included Mexico (41%), California (39%), Hawaii (35%), Florida (30%) and New York (24%).

Nothing like steel drums on the beach

However, 65% of respondents said they will not travel internationally until vaccines are developed and people are being widely immunized. “People realize that COVID-19 won’t end any time soon, but the virus can be controlled through immunization,” says Tania.

The study identified three distinct types of travellers: the Sunseeking Baby Boomers, the Young Experienced Travellers Under 30 and the Affluent Wanderers who make more than $200,000 a year. Across the board, travellers chose safety and safe destinations as their top priority for travel in 2021. 

“While almost 80% of boomers said they prefer a warm weather destination for travel this year, a whopping 95% of respondents said their number one priority is a safe and secure destination,” says Tania. “They are the least budget conscious of the three travel types and prefer luxury and are willing to pay for it. Since safety is a priority, destinations should be promoting higher end established hotel brands and resorts rather than private residence rentals. Brand hotels are known to have a certain standards of safety protocols in place across the board which is important to today’s traveller.”  

The Young Experienced Traveller Under Age 30 is looking for fun, adventure and unique experiences. “Over 80% of respondents said they want robust adventure including outdoor experiences, while nearly 75% said they want to discover unique cultural experiences,” states Tania. 

While over half (61%) of the Affluent Wanders said they want a beach vacation, over 50%   are interested in historical sites and museums and 40% are looking for unique cultural experiences including culinary travel opportunities. This group is generally known to book on their own and take the advice of family and friends.

When it comes to how Canadians book travel, the study showed that 48% of respondents prefer to take the advice of family and friends, while 48% do general research on the internet, while 29% rely on online travel reviews on sites like TripAdvisor.

What travel may look like in the future?

So, here’s the big question—what is “out” when it comes to international leisure travel, at least according to the DCI survey results.

“Festivals and large-scale events are out,” says Tania. “People do not feel comfortable in large groups or at public events. Sixty five percent of those surveyed told us they would say no to a cruise right now, likely driven by all of the negative media attention cruise lines experienced last year.”

Romantic vacations are also out, according to the DCI survey results. “It seems that Canadians have spent enough time at home this past year with their spouse or partner, however, they told us they do want to travel with their families—their entire families including multigenerational travel.”

Also “out”—shopping trips. Says Tania: “Shopping is not important to Canadians right now as they have had plentiful shopping opportunities online and have outfitted the house already. People are choosing experiences over material goods.” 

This is the second such study conducted by DCI which is a destination marketing firm. “The first study was done in 2017 as we needed to know more about the Canadian traveller and this time the study has shown us how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed outbound travel. The study is relevant right now because in 2019, 21 million Canadians visited the U.S. and Canadians represent their number one inbound market–more Canadians visit the U.S. than go to Europe, the Caribbean, or any other international destination. What is surprising is the high value Canadians are placing on saving for international travel. Canadians love to travel, but they won’t travel until it is safe to do so.”

We asked Tania to look into her crystal ball and predict what travel may look like for Summer 2021. “We believe that domestic travel in Canada will dominate and people will safely explore their own backyard (or province). With the PM and others telling us not to travel, realistically, the demand for international travel may not happen until the end of 2021, and even then, this is dependent on what happens with the pandemic globally and here at home.” 

By: Laurie Wallace-Lynch – info@mtltimes.ca

Other articles from mtltimes.catotimes.caotttimes.ca

Airlines suspend flights

Airlines suspend flights to sun destinations immediately

Kimpton Key West’s New Fitch Lodge laid back lifestyle

How Belize is staying ahead of COVID-19 with Canadian expats

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


Tiger Woods in major car accident

Tiger Woods in major car accident

PGA Golfer Tiger Woods was hospitalized today after a severe car accident which occurred early this morning at Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in California approximately at 7 A.M. Tiger Wood was the sole occupant in the car and the Jaws of Life was required to free him from his vehicle. At this

Falling

FALLING – Testing filial love (trailer)

To what extent a son would care for his old man, slowly falling into mental deterioration, and who as a father was a rather horrific individual? In this movie that marks his directorial debut, Viggo Mortensen plays the role of a son—John Peterson—who is receiving in his California house the visit of his father, Willis

Montealers over 70 will receive COVID-19 vaccine

Montrealers over 70 will receive COVID-19 vaccine – Here’s how

The question on everybody’s mind is when will Montrealers over 70 will receive COVID-19 vaccine? The Quebec government announced today they will start to give the COVID-19 vaccine to Montrealers over 70 beginning next week. They also explained that Quebecers over age 80 in the rest of the province will start to receive the vaccine.

Ice Cream Vs. Frozen Dessert

Ice Cream Vs Frozen Dessert – Which one is better?

When it comes to cold treats, the dilemma between Ice Cream Vs Frozen Dessert will always remain at the top of the list. Which is better and which will suit you better. There are equal supporters for both sides of the story, so it’s only right to examine the benefits of each and then let

The Trial of the Chicago 7

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 – Miscarriage of justice (official trailer)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of those interesting films that should have been in theatres last year. Instead, we can find it online. Directed by Aaron Sorkin, the plot is based on seven antiwar activists’ trial after their famous protest during the 1968 Democratic Party National Convention in Chicago.  With Richard Nixon

Isabelle Stern

Montrealer Isabelle Stern – The making of a dance music star

Montreal singer/songwriter Isabelle Stern has transcended a love for dance music into a budding recording career. The native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida – who has been living in Montreal since the age of four – got her start not in the recording studio, but in the TV studio. It all began in 2010, when she

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox