TORONTO — Four in 10 Canadians believe the government should remove travel advisories to the U.S. and reopen the border to make travel to America easier.
That’s according to a recent survey conducted by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA).
The survey also revealed that the U.S. is the top travel destination for Canadians when restrictions are eased.
THIA says the results also show that vaccinated Canadians are twice as likely to travel internationally this year. While the vaccine rollout continues across the country, nearly one-third (31%) of unvaccinated survey respondents said they would get vaccinated if it was required for travel.
The survey was conducted in June 2021, polling 1,500 responses across Canada, ranging from ages 18 to 60+.
Pressure has been mounting in recent weeks, and even more so in the past few days, for Canada and the U.S. to at least present a path forward to reopening the border, now closed for more than 15 months.
As reported on Travelweek.ca on Tuesday, with the June 21 renewal date for the Canada-U.S. border coming up, rumours are rampant that border restrictions could be eased somewhat ahead of the summer season.
One of the most vocal proponents for reopening the border, New York congressman Brian Higgins, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden will discuss plans to reopen the Canada-U.S. border when they meet on the margins of the G7 summit, taking place June 11 – 13 in the UK.
Higgins says the White House has confirmed the two leaders will discuss the matter either today or Friday.
Yesterday the Canadian government announced the elimination of the hotel quarantine rule and eased quarantine measures while waiting for PCR test results, for fully vaccinated returning Canadians and permanent residents, potentially starting in early July. However there’s no word yet on when the eased restrictions will expand to include currently non-exempt travellers from outside Canada, or when the travel advisory will lift.
“This has been the longest border closure in history, with a level three travel advisory that has been in place for more than a year. It’s time to put a safe border-reopening plan into action and view international vaccination requirements for travel as a way of overcoming vaccine-hesitancy,” says Will McAleer, THIA’s Executive Director and spokesperson.
McAleer notes that while Canadians’ desire to travel to the U.S. had declined in recent years, these latest survey findings show that the U.S. is the most popular first travel destination for Canadians, based on proximity to avoid air travel and the country’s vaccination rollout.
According to the THIA’s survey …
- 37% of Canadians indicated that the U.S. is the first place they plan to travel outside of Canada;
- 33% of respondents said they were more likely to travel to the U.S. after the pandemic, than before;
- 47% attribute their interest in travelling to the U.S. to the success of the American vaccine rollout;
- 46% of respondents say their preferred mode of travel is by vehicle (car, van, or camper)
With file from The Canadian Press