Allianz Canada Study Sheds Light On Current Booking Habits
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Allianz Canada VP Dan Keon being interviewed by Open Jaw's Nina Slawek.
Canadians are booking their vacations further out than many in the industry may assume, and many are doing a lot of the planning work on their own.
Those are among the key findings of the third annual Canadian Winter Vacation Confidence Index by travel insurance and assistance services provider Allianz Global Assistance, which surveyed Canadians this year about how and when they book their vacations.
The survey found that more than four in ten Canadians (44%) indicated that they booked their last vacation two to six months in advance. Women and those over the age of 35 are more likely to book well in advance. Conversely, some booked one week or less in advance, including 20% of men compared to just 5% of women, and 24% of those booking last minute trips are under the age of 35.
“With so many options for booking travel and with the attractiveness of last minute deals, it’s reasonable to assume the time gap between booking and travel is narrowing,” says Dan Keon, Vice President, Market Management, Allianz Global Assistance Canada. “So it was surprising that 44% of Canadians said they booked two to six months ahead and a significant number, 12%, said they book more than six months in advance.”
When respondents were asked how they booked vacations, 38% said they did it themselves (through individual airlines, hotels, car rental agencies) while 25% said they use an online travel portal or app. Twenty percent replied that they use a trusted travel agent to make vacation arrangements. Among study respondents, men were more likely than women to use a travel agent -- 23% versus 17% respectively.
The Winter Vacation Confidence Index also showed that 27% of Canadians don’t purchase or have travel insurance for their vacations. Women were more likely than men (30% compared to 23%) to forego purchasing travel insurance when vacationing.
Of those who have travel insurance, fewer than half indicated that they had coverage on a credit card (22%) or as part of their workplace benefits (20%). Some 17% said they purchase it themselves when booking and 14% indicated they bought a plan directly from a travel insurance provider.
“Although Canadians are generally very aware of the need for travel insurance and protections when leaving the country,” explains Keon, “we always encourage Canadian travellers to review their credit card or workplace coverage before leaving and understand their benefits, be they for emergency hospital and medical travel insurance or trip cancellation and interruption insurance. We recommend speaking with a trusted advisor, such as your travel agent, to confirm you have appropriate coverage in place for your travels.”
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.