More Canadians Set Their Sights On Travel

Open Jaw

Judging by recent conversations with tour operator representatives, the outbound market has been unsettled in recent months, whether it be ITC south, cruise or Europe. But new research from the Canadian Tourism Commission suggests Canadians are getting the itch to travel over the next couple of years.

The CTC research department says 38% of Canadians anticipate travelling more in the next 2 or 3 years, a 7% increase over 2012 figures. Moreover, 79% believe they will spend the same or more on travel within Canada within the next 12 months.

The CTC would obviously like more Canadians to explore their own country, and there’s some evidence of positive trends in that direction. While the economic recovery in Canada has been tempered by the slump in oil prices and a depreciating loonie, the fact that U.S. destinations are becoming more expensive due to our lower dollar could result in benefits to domestic tourism.

The U.S. is Canada’s biggest rival in the international tourism marketplace: despite the dollar differential, 48% of Canadians are considering a vacation south of the border in 2015, compared with 28% thinking of one in Canada.

While the research showed that Canadians enjoy exploring their own country, “Other places I would rather visit” is the primary barrier to travelling at home for 33% of Canucks.

The leader among those ‘other places’ is Italy, seen as a dream destination for many Canadian travellers, who wish to experience its cities, local flavours and culture.

Still, as Canada has suffered declines in international visitors, Canadians have become the anchor of tourism here at home, accounting for 81% ($68.1 billion) of total tourism revenue in 2013, up from 72% in 2003 and 67% in 2000.

(will not be published)