Home & Away: Virtuoso’s Forecast For Affluent Canadian Spring Break Travel
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Data from Canadian travel agency members of luxury travel network Virtuoso suggests many upscale Canadians will stay close to home this spring break while others will seek sun and adventure in distant destinations.
While Canadians are still venturing to long-time favorites like the U.S., Mexico, the UK and France, they are also exploring faraway locales, particularly in Latin America and Asia.
Based on analysis of $73.2 billion in transactions, Virtuoso says it has its fingers on the pulse of where the Canadian affluent travel market is heading in March and April. Here are some highlights:
The Virtuoso Top 10: The most popular destinations for spring travel for Canadians based on future bookings.
The Top 10 Analysis:
Canada continues its number-one reign on the Top 10 list, demonstrating that there’s no place like home for a spring break. Its neighbour to the south also beckons for an easy escape for family fun and sun.
Others are opting for a jaunt across the pond ahead of the summer crowds, as four European countries appear on the list. In particular, the U.K., France and Italy are truly destinations for all seasons, maintaining their Top 10 status continuously for the past year.
Sales to Australia remain resilient, as the bushfires plaguing the country have limited impact on its most visited attractions. Israel’s religious and historic appeal intensifies at this time of year with Easter and Passover observances. And spring is peak cherry blossom season in Japan, encouraging travellers to head there now before Olympic fever takes over the nation.
The Virtuoso Hot 10:
The countries that have seen the largest percentage of growth in year-over-year Canadian bookings.
Dominican Republic (230.7%)
Argentina (86.5%) i%)
Costa Rica (79.2%)
United Arab Emirates (68.2%)
The Hot 10 analysis:
With the rapid pace of daily life, travellers are looking to leave stress behind and renew themselves during a spring getaway. Perennial Canadian family favourites for warm weather, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba and Jamaica are surging in bookings this year.
Explorers seeking active experiences – the top Canadian travel trend in the 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report - are heading for the unique wildlife of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands and Argentina’s natural wonders, including breathtaking Iguazu Falls and rugged Patagonia. Canadians are increasingly focusing on Europe as well this spring, drawn by the tulips of the Netherlands, the ski resorts of Switzerland and the cuisine and culture of Portugal.
Data is acquired from Virtuoso’s Canadian travel agency members and reveals future travel for MAR-APR 2020.
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.