After a two-year hiatus on travel, Canadians are anxious to resume their travel plans. But whether they’re planning to travel domestically or further afield, the reality is that certain barriers to travel exist and they may impact on whether or not consumers actually do follow through with their plans.
The situation at airports around the world has been at the forefront of many discussions in recent months. While staff shortages and confusion surrounding changing pandemic restrictions have been blamed as the reasons behind the challenges, a new survey conducted by Rakuten.ca, points out that inflation and soaring gas prices remain top of mind and therefore cost is the number-1 inhibitor to planning a post-pandemic trip.
According to Claire Sweeney, VP of Marketing at Rakuten.ca, “Canadians are ready to travel again, and we want to help them get the most out of their travel experiences. We discovered, 63 per cent of Canadians agree travel is more important now than it was before the pandemic.”
According to the survey, 70 per cent of Canadians are focusing on visiting family/friends in Canada first before travelling outside the country. However, high costs of domestic travel in Canada are causing many to opt for international getaways instead. Forty-five per cent of respondents said the high cost of flights within Canada has resulted in them deciding to travel outside the country as flights are often less expensive than within Canada.
Not surprisingly, after years of travel restrictions and lockdowns, Canadians are now ready to plan their getaways, with 68 per cent likely to take a leisure trip in 2022. The survey states Canadians are approaching a return to pre-pandemic travel-intention levels (70 per cent in January 2020). Only 15 per cent of Canadians have travelled outside Canada in the past year, with one-third (31 per cent) not having left the country in three to four years.
Most Canadians (53 per cent) continue to place travel ahead of other personal expenditures. Road trips will continue to be a go-to vacation for many, with 54 per cent planning to hit the open road. Despite record-high gas prices, 73 per cent of Canadians will drive to at least one of their destinations this summer. Of those, roughly a quarter (23 per cent) plan to rent a vehicle.
Not surprisingly, staycations have grown in popularity as an alternative travel option. In fact, one third (36 per cent) of Canadians say they’re planning staycations, doubling pre-pandemic levels of 18 per cent. That said, 65 per cent of Canadians are adamant it’s not a real vacation unless they travel somewhere.
Canadians are open to various accommodations but hotels topped the list at 63 per cent, with only 28 per cent interested in Airbnb or similar services.