With the weakness of the dollar weighing on Quebecers’ vacation plans, destinations in their home province and elsewhere in Canada will be popular choices this summer, according to this exclusive survey.
Ontario, as well as Atlantic and Western Canada, are the other top Canadian destination choices besides Quebec. And the proportion of holidayers who want to visit the United States has dropped by more than 10 percentage points in the past two years, from 21% to 10%.
Limited budgets, shorter stays… but Millennials are more enthusiastic
This year, close to half (46%) of Quebecers surveyed plan to spend less than $1,000 on their vacation, and 35% will take one week or less off from work, which is an increase of 6% compared with 2015. A total of 31% of Quebecers will be taking the traditional two-week break, whereas 38% of them had done so last year. That significant difference seems to corroborate the trend toward shorter vacations. One exception is the Millennial generation, members of which say they have every intention of enjoying the warm weather: 23% of respondents aged between 18 and 24 say they’ll be on vacation for a month or more this summer.
“Travellers are sensitive to the low value of the dollar, and they’re adjusting their habits accordingly,” says Angelina Miconiatis, CAA-Quebec’s Senior Director, Travel Products. “During our survey period, the Canadian currency was worth around 79 cents US, whereas it was at 82 cents in 2015 and 92 cents in 2014. There’s a significant impact on people’s wallets, so it’s easy to see why some people are leaning more toward local destinations. People have plenty of alternatives when it comes to summer vacation destinations, so they’re making other choices.”
Local tourism: where are we going
A full 58% of vacationers surveyed say they’ll be spending the summer in Quebec, a figure similar to last year. The Capitale-Nationale, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Montreal and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions are the most attractive. For the 13% of Quebecers who will be exploring other parts of Canada, Ontario (by a wide margin), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are the most popular choices. These preferences are also reflected in the requests for TripTik® route maps being received from CAA-Quebec members this year.
Cars the top choice of travel method
With more affordable prices at the pump this year and local trips more popular, it’s no surprise that more prospective vacationers (71%, to be precise) say they will be driving to their destination versus last year (68%). Only a quarter of them, however, plan to have their vehicle inspected before heading out on the road, despite this being an essential precaution.
“Few people realize that in the intense summer heat, car batteries drain and are damaged an average of 33% faster. Also, a check of your vehicle’s fluid levels, especially coolant, can prevent plenty of headaches,” explains CAA-Quebec automotive expert Jesse Caron.
Travelling outside Quebec “without a net:” a very risky proposition!
One surprising finding of the survey is that 13% of Quebecers will be travelling outside the province without travel insurance. Of these, 24% are young people between 18 and 24 years of age.
“A majority of the people who won’t be taking out travel medical insurance (65%) say they will be visiting another province, but they seem to be forgetting that once you cross the border, you’re no longer covered,” Suzanne Michaud, CAA-Quebec’s Vice President, Insurance, warns. “In Ontario, emergency medical care for sunstroke can cost you $700. In the U.S., meanwhile, the bill for a hospital stay can sometimes be in the tens of thousands of dollars!”
The survey was conducted online for CAA-Quebec between April 22 and 28, 2016, by Leger – The Research Intelligence Group, which polled 1,000 Quebecers.A similar-size random-sample survey of Quebecers has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.