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


myths about food supplements

The most common myths about food supplements and their effects

Living a healthy life is now easier than ever thanks to the abundance of healthy food and supplement options that you can buy. In fact, the vitamins you need in your daily life can often be found inside a capsule or tablet. It’s thanks to food supplements that more and more people have access  Food

Montreal Festivals

It’s going to be an explosive summer with Montreal festivals

High vaccination rates, plus the low number of COVID-19 cases, equals the return of summer fun in Montreal which looks to be filled with Montreal festivals. The return of many of Montreal’s favourite artistic summer festivals, along with the introduction of 29 new unique cultural projects — which will run for a period of at

Mesclun Salads

Mesclun Salads – New Salad bar in St Laurent

Mesclun Salads – Priscilla Ponce was born in Chile, moved to Canada and settled in the Montreal suburb of Ville St. Laurent, where she still lives with her husband and children. Throughout her life in Montreal, she has worked in retail, in a number of restaurants as a waitress, and as a real estate broker.

SHAN Collection from Montreal

SHAN Collection from Montreal

Montreal is no slouch when it comes to the world of fashion and SHAN is certainly at the top of the list with every piece of its collections fully conceptualized and manufactured in Laval (Qc) Canada. While the house employs locally, nearly 65% of its product is exported internationally, in over 33 countries. This success

Medical marijuana for treatment

Medical marijuana for treatment. How can it cure my pain?

Medical Marijuana is like a jack of all trades, strange it may sound. Alongside its notorious myths around that, it is a weapon for high effects, many people are aware of its potent therapeutic properties. Yet, like other medical treatments, marijuana may not be the first-line choice of prescription but an alternative when other modalities

flights to Hawaii

Airline offers Canadians the most flights to Hawaii this winter

WestJet today announced significant growth to its Hawaii network, featuring more Dreamliner flight options from Western Canada to Maui and new non-stop service from Calgary to Kona and Lihue this winter. With 57 weekly roundtrip flights on 10 nonstop routes, WestJet offers more service between Canada and Hawaii than any other airline.  “With easing travel

Mtltimes Subscription

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