Weak Loonie, Economy Are Affecting Travel Plans Among Canadian Travellers

Only 18% of Canadian leisure travellers say their trips will not be impacted at all by the state of the national currency.

Calgary, AB – Four-in-five Canadian travellers feel the weakness of the national currency is a reason to rethink their travel plans for the next 12 months, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of leisure travellers, 82% say the declining Canadian dollar has had an impact on their travel plans, which represents a 4-point decline since a similar Insights West survey conducted last year. Although the proportion who say the declining dollar has had a “medium” or “minor impact” has fallen this year, the percentage who feel the declining loonie has had a “significant impact” has increased 3 points to 27%.

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Close to three-in-five Canadian travellers who have been impacted by the fluctuating loonie plan to make fewer trips to the United States than they normally would (58%, up 11 points since last year) and are more likely to vacation in their home province or territory (also 58%, and up 12 points since last year). Similarly, 57% plan to vacation in other areas of Canada instead of visiting the U.S. (up 8 points from 2015). One-in-five of these affected travellers (20%) have cancelled a trip they were planning to make to the U.S., while one-in-ten (11%) have cancelled all their travel plans this year.

The loonie is not the only issue that is compelling Canadian travellers to modify their trips. Across the country, 22% of Canadian travellers say they, or a family member living in their household, have been personally impacted by the current economic downturn—a proportion that reaches 42% in Alberta.

Only 7% of Canadian travellers who have been impacted by the economic downturn say the situation has not impacted their travel plans. One-third of them (34%) say they intend to carry on with their planned trip but will spend less, while 30% have changed where they are going and plan to spend less. More than a quarter (28%) have cancelled some of their travel plans, while 8% have cancelled all their travel plans this year. One-in-four (25%) plan to stay with family and friends instead of paid accommodations.

“The declining Canadian dollar and economic downturn is encouraging Canadian travellers to modify their vacation plans, including vacationing closer to home,” says Jane Ha-Trapp, Vice President at Insights West. “This represents an opportunity for Canadian tourism destinations who are more likely to attract visitors who normally vacation outside of Canada.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from June 14 to June 21, 2016, among a representative sample of 1,915 Canadian adult travellers who have made an overnight leisure trip at least 100 km from home in the past 12 months. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region and by incidence of leisure travel by region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.2 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Jane Ha-Trapp
Vice President, Insights West
403-860-5277
janehatrapp@insightswest.com

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Michael G Winters