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Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Jul 06, 2020
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Day trips top the itinerary for Canadians this summer

Change of Plans

A new survey reports that 74% of Canadians have changed their summer travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic and the day trip has emerged as the preferred getaway.

Conducted by Ipsos, on behalf of Toyota Canada, the national survey found that only a quarter (24%) of Canadians said they felt comfortable taking a plane at the moment, and that the car will be the go-to mode of transportation for the summer of 2020.

The majority (70%) of Canadians felt comfortable travelling by car outside of their city or town, and almost half (49%) are planning at least one day trip over the next two months.

This year, though, Canadians are looking for closer-to-home destinations to explore, with less than half (42%) comfortable venturing out of their province and only 21% who would visit the US in the near future. Of those planning to hit the road this summer, most are opting to stay within a 100-km radius of home, making day trips the new preferred excursion.

Yet just because Canadians will be taking to the road this summer doesn’t mean they’ll be tossing caution to the wind when it comes to COVID-19.
The survey also found that an overwhelming majority (94%) of those planning a road trip say they will be taking extra precautions to protect both themselves and those around them.

Of those going on a road trip, two-thirds (65%) say they will limit contact with people outside their immediate circle and limit their exposure to crowds (64%). Other precautions Canadians plan to take on their road trips include wearing a mask while out in public (54%) and taking extra time to clean and disinfect surfaces inside the car (43%).

Stephen Beatty, vice-president, corporate at Toyota Canada, said of the findings: “While this may not be the summer we had all envisioned, we’re excited to see Canadians getting back behind the wheel, slowing life down and exploring more of the incredible beauty Canada has to offer.”

Beatty noted that: “… As we continue to adjust to the new normal, the road trip is a great option for Canadians who want to get away safely, experience a change of scenery and start making new memories with loved ones again.”

And not surprisingly, the survey also found that Canadians are craving connection, making visiting family and friends this summer (53%) the primary purpose of their road trips.

Additional road trip destinations include exploring another city or town (51%), visiting a beach (41%), discovering a national/provincial park (42%), or settling in at a campground (38%) or cabin (23%).

Yet regardless of the destination, Canadians are planning a simpler summer, filled with memory-making adventures as they explore all that Canada has to offer.

Yet while Canadians across the country will be taking to their cars, trucks and SUVs this summer, there are some interesting provincial differences:

  • Atlantic Canadians have the highest number of trips planned this summer, with 50% of respondents planning to hit the road.
  • Despite the pandemic, 74% of Quebecers feel comfortable travelling outside their city or town and 45% feel comfortable travelling outside the province.
  • Ontarians crave their cars the most, with 54% stating that staying at home during the pandemic has made them miss driving.
  • Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the most relaxed about venturing farther from home, with almost half (48%) saying they’d feel very comfortable travelling out of province.
  • Good gas mileage is particularly important to Albertans, with more than three-quarters (76%) stating that this is the most important vehicle feature for their summer road trip.
  • B.C. residents are taking the most precautions while on the road, with 78% limiting contact with people outside of their inner circle. Getting the most out of their miles.

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