TORONTO — Canadians are once again travelling, with many planning on heading to Europe, says the European Travel Commission (ETC).
According to the ETC’s latest Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB), which was published in February 2023 and analyzes the long-haul travel intentions in key overseas markets for the period between May and August 2023, over half of the respondents in Canada plan to travel, wit
Europe being the preferred destination.
The intentions for overseas travel were particularly strong among 18-49-year-old travellers. At the same time, around 22% of respondents in these markets were interested in exploring other non-European destinations. For the Canadian market, these destinations are mainly located in the Caribbean, while Australians prefer East Asia and North America.
Sentiment for long-haul travel is stable in Canada and has gradually increased since the autumn of 2021. While the number of people eager to visit Europe between May and August 2023 is not as high as in the other markets (37%), the share of those answering “very like” has increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2022.
With the stronger Canadian dollar relative to the euro, and the resumption of air routes and flight frequencies between major European destinations (ie. Germany, Spain, Greece) and Canada, intentions may solidify further.
When asked what the most important criteria is for choosing a holiday destination overseas, 41% of Canadians cited safety (ie. no civil unrest, low crime rate, etc.), 40% said affordability of travel experiences, 32% said high-quality of tourism infrastructures, 32% said pleasant weather, 27% said must-see attractions, and 16% said natural and cultural heritage.
For respondents not currently planning overseas trips, personal finances (39%) were cited as the primary obstacle for long-haul travel. However, a sense of optimism remains, as 18% of these respondents said they would consider travelling to Europe in 2024.
As for when in the year travellers intend to visit Europe, the summer months remain most popular for European travel, with 74% saying they plan to visit for 1-2 weeks and spend over EUR100 per day.