Skip the all-inclusive this winter? Unthinkable for many, but Intrepid has the stats
Cenote Suytun at Valladolid, Yucatan

Skip the all-inclusive this winter? Unthinkable for many, but Intrepid has the stats

TORONTO — Intrepid Travel says new research shows that more Canadians will be looking beyond all-inclusive resorts when travelling to the Caribbean this winter.

Commissioned by Intrepid and conducted by OnePoll, the survey of 1,000 Canadian travellers found that 90% of Canadian travellers think it is important to have local experiences while travelling to Caribbean countries – beyond the pool and buffets of an all-inclusive resort.

The survey also showed that less than a quarter of Canadian travellers (23%) want to stay at a resort for their entire vacation. A majority said they want to explore diverse neighborhoods (77%), eat at local restaurants (70%) and visit local markets (69%).

“All these available options have made it easy for Canadian travellers to settle for the all-inclusive resort, but now travellers are looking for more adventure-style, cultural options in these popular winter destinations,” said Leigh Barnes, North American Director, Intrepid Travel.

Other findings from the survey include:

The top-three experiences:

  • Walk around a city (77%)
  • Eat at a local restaurant (70%)
  • Visit a local market (69%)

The top-three benefits to travelling outside the all-inclusive resort:

  • Learn about diverse cultures (70%)
  • It is a unique experience every time I travel (65%)
  • Taste the local food (62%)

The top-three reasons stopping Canadians from travelling to an all-inclusive resort this winter:

  • Do not see enough of the country (37%)
  • Not learning about the history, heritage of the country (34%)
  • No experiencing the culture (34%)

Intrepid points to a 2015 Statistics Canada International Travel summary that rated Mexico, Cuba and Jamaica as three of the top-15 visited countries by Canadians.

Intrepid says it has expanded its tour offerings in all three countries and throughout the Caribbean. The company’s trips include:

  • Best of Jamaica (8 days) – This trip hits the must-see destinations of Jamaica while allowing clients to explore and sample Jamaica’s hidden side. Travellers can enjoy a home-cooked meal at a private home with locals to get a ground-level sense of daily life in Jamaica and visit a Rastafari village. This tour is priced from $2,730.
  • Mexico Family (8 days) – Sunny beaches, lush forests, lost ruins and colonial townships. Discover the culture and the history of the Maya at the temples of Chichen Itza, Xel-ha and Coba; take a dip in the turquoise waters in the cave at Xkeken; sunbake on the beach by Tulum and watch the flamingos paint the sky pink at the Celestun Bird Sanctuary. Priced from $2,510.
  • Cycle Cuba (7 days) – See Cuba from two wheels. Travel the colourful streets of Havana, along dusty roads past farms and tobacco plantations in Vinales, beside vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages and get a taste of Cuba beyond the rum and cigar scene. Swim in Cayo Jutias’ clear blue waters, explore Che Guevara’s former HQ at the Cueva de los Portales and cool off in the bubbling river pools in Las Terrazas. Starting at $1,521.
  • Bahamas sailing (7 days) – A once-in-a-lifetime sailing expedition to one of the world’s best cruising destinations, the Caribbean. Prices star at $2,610.

“Intrepid Travel’s brand-new range of tours was created so Canadians can travel to familiar destinations like Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico, but with a focus on experiencing the culture and the people,” said Barnes. “We will visit the main cities Canadians are used to, but take them to remote areas, where they can get off the beaten path and explore.”