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Sunday, October 24, 2021

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Pattie Lovett-Reid: Survey reveals potentially good news for Canadian tourism

HUNTSVILLE, ONT. – COVID – 19 and warnings against travel may have impacted our travel behaviors but not our travel desire, according to a new report by MarketSense. However, until vaccines are widely distributed and bans are lifted few are comfortable traveling, with just under a third of those surveyed saying they will travel in the next few months.

When asked, ‘Where you will travel? ‘ 77 per cent said within Canada and 54 per cent within their province. Twenty-five per cent would head to the US, 17 per cent to Mexico / Caribbean and to Europe with only 9 per cent venturing to Asia. The split seems pretty even in terms of the mode of transportation: 69 per cent will travel by car and 67 per cent would consider flying.

Of course, not everyone is comfortable and leading the charge is the actual vaccine itself taking hold, a reduction in cases coupled with stringent protocols, and hygiene measures provided by carriers and accommodation providers.

Travel insurance is a concern and it should be.

If you decide to travel abroad during COVID – 19, make sure you clearly understand what you are covered for, even if you leave the country for only one day. Quarantine costs can escalate if you become infected with the pandemic during your trip. Be aware should you need to return to Canada for medical care, your options may be limited due to decreased availability of flights. So you want to ensure you are covered for extended periods of time.

The reality is we all likely know someone who has traveled but should not have. So it is reasonable to expect once we get the official green light things will kick into gear quickly.

The travel industry wants to woo you back as soon as it can and pricing should be competitive as many in the industry say it will rapidly become a travel “boom.” No one knows for sure when that will be, however – what we do know is the vaccination rate and the effectiveness will dictate the exact timing.

And finally, when we can travel, 52 per cent of those surveyed by MarketSense said they will head to a hotel, 20 per cent plan to stay with family and friends, 10 per cent will secure rental property while 5 per cent will camp and 3 per cent are uncertain where they will stay.

My takeaway: This is potentially good news for Canadian tourism. The vast majority plan to travel when they can here at home and, in fact, most of those plan on traveling within their own province.

Supporting local business might soon have a new element added to it.

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