The latest results from the 2014 HAC Canadian Travel Intentions Survey show that business and leisure travel is projected to remain the same as last year.
Eighty-one per cent of business travellers will be travelling more or the same for business in 2014. The exception is Ontario, where business travel is projected to be down 4% over last year’s numbers. The highest increase for business travel in 2014 is in the Prairies and BC at 27%, 3% more than the national average.
“While business travel numbers remain stable for 2014, there is some worry about the down turn in Ontario,” said HAC president Tony Pollard. “This information, on the heels of the federal budget cuts to provincial transfer payments, is not good news for Ontario properties catering to domestic business travellers.”
Eighty-three per cent of leisure travellers will travel more or the same as last year and 11% will travel less. Overall, leisure travel intentions are the same as 2013 and 2012 results. While leisure travel is static nationally, 36% of BCers said they would be travelling more for leisure, 14% more than the national average and up 2% over
2013. Respondents from the Prairies expressed the most uncertainty regarding leisure travel with 17% indicating they will travel less than 2013 and 8% undecided.
Business travellers who said they would be travelling less this year said they would be doing so for two main reasons, the price of gas/energy (20%) and the cost of air fare (20%). The economy, not as much of a concern in 2013, has jumped back into the top three reasons for travelling less for business in 2014 (17%). The Canadian dollar, for the first time in four years, is again a concern with 16% of business respondents. Worries about the economy, the Canadian dollar and the price of gas are highest with Ontario business travellers.
Twenty-nine per cent of Canadian travellers said they would be doing more travel to the US in 2014 than 2013, up 3% over last year’s numbers.
Seventeen per cent of 2014 respondents said they travelled to the US for cheaper airline tickets in 2013, with the highest number of cross border ticket buyers from Ontario and British Columbia. A further 23% said they plan on cross border shopping for cheaper air fares in 2014. An alarming 60% of respondents also said they knew people who travelled to the US in 2013 to purchase cheaper airline tickets.
“Canada’s aviation cost structure is one of the highest in the world. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks 136th out of 139 countries,” said Pollard. “Aviation and airport fees and charges make Canada’s aviation costs almost 30% higher than other jurisdictions. It is no wonder Canadians continue to flock to the US to purchase less expensive airline tickets.”