TORONTO — Snowbirds will be leading the way back to travel’s recovery, says a new survey by Snowbird Advisor.
According to the survey, which was conducted between June 23-25, 91% of Canadian snowbirds intend to travel this coming winter season. Another 8% said they were uncertain if they would go away this winter, with the number one reason being the continued closure of the Canada-U.S. border.
“The survey confirms that Canadian snowbirds have no intention of spending another winter in Canada,” said Stephen Fine, President of Snowbird Advisor. “Last winter, approximately 60% of snowbirds stayed home due to fear of COVID.”
Other notable findings include over 66% of respondents said they plan on spending three months or more away from Canada this winter. Also, not surprisingly, the United States is the top destination among respondents, with 83% planning on spending their winter in U.S. destinations. Mexico came in second at 6%, followed by the Caribbean and Europe at 3% each, and Central & South America at 1%.
With the pandemic being a fluid situation that changes daily, travel trends have drastically changed from just a few months ago. In a similar survey conducted in November 2020 by Snowbird Advisor, over 40% of Canadian snowbirds said that they would not be travelling last winter, while only about 30% said they definitely would go away for all or part of the winter season. Another 25% were undecided about their winter plans last year.
“Clearly, snowbirds feel much more confident about travelling again, no doubt due to high vaccination rates in Canada and the U.S. as well as lower COVID case counts, despite travel advisories still in place and the border closure,” said Fine.
The Canada-U.S. border closure is set to expire on July 21. Though it has been renewed multiple times since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau hinted during his press briefing on June 22 that the most recent renewal this past May may have been the last.