Although travel might not be the same as it once was, new research by Booking.com reveals that the travel that happiness can bring isn’t measured in kilometres.
In the summer of 2020, the distance travelled by Canadians was down 71% year-over-year, with domestic destinations being the “stand-out stars” and accounting for 82% of total distance travelled.
Digging into summer travel patterns, Booking.com found that the average distance Canadians travelled (June – August) is down 71% compared with the same time last year – slightly more than the global average decrease of 63%.
Through summer of 2019, Canadian travellers journeyed on average 2,252 kilometres per booking. This summer, that distance has dropped to 662 kilometres per booking — just slightly further than the distance from Calgary to Kamloops.
Between June 1 and Aug. 31, 82% of the total distance travelled by Canadians was within Canada, compared to only 17% during the same period of 2019.
Drivable lakeside towns and wooded escapes topped the list of trending destinations booked by travelling Canadians, as many have taken the opportunity to visit family and friends they’ve been apart from due to travel restrictions and social distancing measures.
Popular Summer 2020 domestic hotspots include: Banff, Alberta, Kingston, Ontario, Revelstoke, B.C., Mont Tremblant, Quebec, and Canmore, Alberta.
As for urban favourites, the top booked destinations this summer included Quebec City, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Vancouver topping the list.
As for choice of accommodation, Canadians were more likely to opt for a cabin or chalet than they were last year, followed by a lodge, inn, motel, or resort, which all topped the rankings of trending accommodation types for Canadian travellers this summer.
This rise in smaller, less populated accommodation types shows the shift in travel trends. When looking back at the end of 2019, before we knew that our 2020 travel plans would be clouded by a global pandemic, only 12% of Canadians were intending to stay at a cabin or chalet, while 59% were anticipating staying in a traditional hotel.
Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Booking.com, said: “During these unprecedented times, it’s reassuring to see that while our plans and priorities have changed, our passion for travel has not. The summer of 2020 proved that the happiness travel can bring is not simply measured in kilometres and that there is plenty to be explored and unforgettable memories to be made right next door.”
Dijk continued: “With our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we offer the widest choice of accommodations, exceptional value and the easiest experience so travellers can get out and enjoy the adventure we call life, whenever it’s safe to do so – whether near or far.”