Travel 2021: These are some of the top travel destinations Canadians are researching

Canadians are dreaming of wild places close to home and warm places far away

With restrictions on travel gradually lifting as more of Canada’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a growing number of Canadians are daydreaming about travel in the not-too-distant future.

According to data from Expedia, the travel website saw an almost 15 per cent spike in searches for domestic and international hotels during the week of June 7 to 13. That same week, on June 9, the federal government announced it was prepared to relax some travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians beginning in July.

“I think this really comes back to there being so much pent-up travel demand over the last year and a half,” said Expedia spokesperson Mary Zajac. “Canadians are definitely eager and excited for the future and to get away once possible again.”

So which destinations are people eyeing for their first proper vacations since the beginning of the pandemic?

This summer, predictably, Canadians are mostly planning to stay within Canada. Search data from travel platform Airbnb shows the top trending destinations are those near access points to natural features. Among Airbnb users, British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan have seen the biggest increases in searches for summer stays over the past month. 

According to search data from Expedia, the top domestic summer travel destinations people are researching are, in order of popularity: Banff, Alta.; Kelowna, B.C.; Vancouver, B.C.; Jasper, Alta.; Osoyoos, B.C.; Tobermory, Ont.; Tofino, B.C.; Niagara Falls, Ont.; Quebec City, Que. and Mont-Tremblant, Que. 

Search data from Expedia shows that when it comes to fall and winter travel plans, Canadians are interested in visiting more cities and urban centres. The top domestic fall and winter destinations are: Banff, Alta., Whistler, B.C., Niagara Falls, Ont.; Vancouver, B.C.; Toronto, Ont.; Canmore, Alta.; Montreal, Que.; Jasper, Alta.; Victoria, B.C. and Quebec City, Que. 

As for international travel destinations, Expedia’s data shows Canadians are interested in visiting the following places — mostly in the U.S., México and the Dominican Republic — later this year or early next year, once travel restrictions lift: Las Vegas, Nevada; Honolulu, Hawaii; Cancún, México; Puerto Vallarta, México; Maui, Hawaii; Cabo San Lucas, México; Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic; Orlando, Florida; Miami, Florida and Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Canadians are craving sun, beach, pools and warm weather,” Zajac said, “and we’re seeing this with México and U.S. sun destinations topping the charts with interest for the back end of the year.”