CAMBRIDGE, Ont. — Vacation confidence continues to rise in the face of financial pressures, with seven in 10 Canadians saying they plan to take a vacation in 2024, according to Allianz Global Assistance’s seventh-annual Vacation Confidence Study.
The study, conducted in partnership with Ipsos, revealed that vacation confidence is strongest among high-income households (85 per cent), university graduates (80 per cent) and families with children (79 per cent). These encouraging travel intentions are reinforced by the 72 per cent of Canadians who say that an annual vacation is important to them.
Those over the age of 55 — who were among the slowest to return to travel in recent years — are driving the rise in vacation confidence with a 10-per-cent increase from last year’s study. Considered to be some of the country’s most avid travellers, the 55-plus generation has now rebounded to its 2019 numbers in terms of travel intentions.
Almost half of Canadians are confident they’ll take a trip this winter, up four points from 2022. The overall increase in winter vacation confidence is again attributed to those over the age of 55. With this, the study suggests snowbird travel to jump back to 2019 levels in 2024.
The vacation deficit is still historically higher than the years immediately preceding the pandemic. This year, 17 per cent of Canadians fall into the vacation-deficit category, meaning that taking an annual vacation is important to them but they’re not confident they’ll take one. The deficit dropped for the second-consecutive year, but a third of Canadians still haven’t had a vacation in more than two years.
Among Canadians who aren’t confident they’ll take a trip next year, 68 per cent cite not wanting to spend the money as the primary barrier. Of those planning a trip, 60 per cent say they will be scaling back travel plans due to inflation.
“Canadian travellers are a resilient bunch. Despite facing unprecedented challenges in recent years, as our 2024 Vacation Confidence Study reveals, Canadians’ travel intentions have fully returned to pre-pandemic levels,” says Dan Keon, VP, Marketing & Insights at Allianz. “In line with rebounding travel volumes, we’ve seen a recovery in the Canadian consumer’s mindset around the importance and prioritization of travel. This shift is propelling Canadians’ confidence in taking a vacation this winter to a statistical high point in our seven-year survey, indicating a renewed commitment to travel.”
Keon continues, “Canadians have been heavily impacted by rising living costs so it’s no surprise that the study found the biggest obstacle to taking a vacation relates to financial pressures. With these challenges in mind, we encourage all Canadians who are planning to travel to include travel insurance in their trip budget. It has never been more critical for travellers to protect their vacation investment, and the cost of travel insurance is a fraction of the potentially catastrophic expenses that can arise due to an unexpected medical emergency abroad. Allianz wishes all of our customers the safest of travels in the year ahead, and if the unexpected arises, we’ll be here to help them when it matters most.”