F1S travel advisors report big increases in int’l bookings over 2022 & 2019: survey

Expect a strong spring and summer of travel, says TICO survey

MISSISSAUGA — Travel agents should get ready for a rush of travellers this spring and summer, says TICO.

According to a new TICO survey of 1,200 Ontarians, 68% of respondents said they intend to travel within Ontario, 51% said they intend to journey across Canada, while 47% said they’re planning an international trip.

Although 71% of respondents said that travel is more complex now than prior to the start of the pandemic, the intention is clear: Ontarians are ready to pack their bags once again.

“Ontarians are ready to travel but they are also deeply aware of the complexities in today’s travel environment,” said Richard Smart, president and CEO, TICO. “Travellers can feel confident and have peace of mind knowing that TICO-registered travel agencies, booking websites and tour operators will provide them with crucial information and added consumer protection. In instances where issues arise, by booking with an Ontario-based company, TICO is here to help resolve the matter.”

Here are more highlights from the survey:

  • 65% of respondents said their most prevalent travel concern is having their travel plans cancelled or delayed due to forces beyond their control. For 60% of respondents, being stranded from home is a concern.
  • 65% of respondents are concerned about protecting their travel investment.
  • Compared to pre-pandemic, 73% of respondents agreed they are more likely to book travel plans with flexible rebooking and cancellation policies. Additionally, 78% of respondents expect to be fully refunded or offered other similar travel if their original plans are cancelled for any reason, outside of them cancelling the trip.
  • When considering their travel purchase, Ontarians chose these five attributes as being most important to them: Destination (86%); Price (86%); Accommodation (84%); The travel experience (81%); Mode of travel (76%).
  • Respondents also said they considered the potential for extreme weather conditions (66%) and being eco-friendly (35%) in their purchase decision.
  • 59% of respondents noted that COVID-19 safety/restrictions continue to be important considerations in their travel purchase decisions, down from 81% in 2021.
  • When making a travel purchase, 62% of respondents said they consider the availability of consumer protection. Additionally, 66% of respondents consider the reputation of the travel agent or tour operators they are booking with.

TICO regulates Ontario’s 2,000 travel agencies, booking websites and tour operators. These range from local travel agencies on main streets, to large booking websites and packaged tour companies.

All TICO registered companies must follow consumer protection laws, including:

  • All-in pricing, with no hidden charges or surprises
  • Outlining the change/cancellation policies of a travel booking
  • Disclosing the documentation (ie. passport, visas, etc.) needed for the travel destination
  • Sharing information about the availability and importance of travel insurance
  • Disclosing any unique conditions that may affect a traveller’s decision to book

To verify if a travel agency, booking website or tour operator is registered with TICO, go to www.tico.ca/search.

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