TORONTO — When are upscale Canadians travelling in 2023, where are they going, and why? All these questions and more have been answered by Virtuoso’s 2022 Brand and Travel Trends Research.
Conducted in collaboration with YouGov with more than 500 Canadians surveyed, the study has found that the majority of respondents (75%) listed “relaxation and disconnecting” as the primary incentive for taking a leisure trip this year. This was followed by adventure, which is almost twice as important for Canadians than for global travellers (41% versus 25%). Other incentives include an affinity for sunny destinations, expedition cruises and a willingness to spend big and stay longer.
As for where Canadians are heading to, the top destinations for 2023 are:
- Mexico – Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos
- Canada – Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary
- United States – Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas
- Dominican Republic – Punta Cana, Puerto Plata
- United Kingdom – London
- Jamaica – Montego Bay
- Italy – Rome, Venice
- France – Paris, Nice
- Australia – Sydney
- Portugal – Lisbon, Faro
It’s all about staying warm for Canadians, not surprising following the cold winter months. Virtuoso’s study showed that 61% of travellers preferred beach vacations, followed by city exploration (47%).
Canadians are equally as likely to travel to Europe as they are to travel within their own country, and they showed a preferred for the Caribbean of West Indies (36% versus 20% globally) and Mexico (30% versus 16% globally).
Who are Canadians travelling with? The study found that the most popular ways to travel among Canadians are with a spouse or significant other, as well as multi-generational family travel. Travelling with school-age children is consistently popular. Prior to March Break, over half of those surveyed said travel is important to the development of children under 18.
SPENDING BIG, STAYING LONGER
Relative to 2019, travellers plan to spend 12% more in 2023. The anticipated annual spend for Virtuoso-advised travellers this year is even higher at $20,000 per person. While Virtuoso clients took about the same number of trips in the past year as other travellers, they did take longer trips, spending more nights in hotels, rentals and cruises. They also skewed more towards international trips.
TRAVEL ADVISORS VS. DIY
When it comes to choosing between the two, there’s no contest – travel advisors win hands down. According to the survey, Canadians favour using travel advisors more than other travellers globally, and 73% of those surveyed typically research a trip 2-8 months in advance. They are also twice as likely to care about creating a travel experience that best fits their expectations over price (66% Virtuoso-advised travellers versus 33% DIY).
Non-advised travellers spent $8,400 per person on travel in 2022, while Virtuoso’s Canadian clients spent $19,600 per person, proving they prioritize travel more than others and also highly value their travel advisors.
Surveyed travellers also cited special benefits and values, complimentary perks and upgrades, VIP treatment and rare access, advisors’ firsthand expertise and a global network of agencies as the top reasons for booking with a Virtuoso travel advisor.
“Virtuoso has more than 2,300 travel advisors in Canada located coast-to-coast, and this number has grown by 13 percent since 2019,” said General Manager, Virtuoso Canada Úna O’Leary. “Travellers look to advisors to save them time, provide expert guidance and offer an extra layer of protection if something goes wrong.”