The pandemic has touched almost every aspect of our lives, especially the way we move around from place to place. The travel landscape took a very different turn during March of 2020 and the travel industry saw a huge decline in all kinds of travel, from short domestic trips to international long-haul trips. But as vaccination rates continue to rise, more and more Canadians have started travelling again.
As normal life resumes, travelling continues to look a little different from the pre-pandemic days. In order to get a sense of just how different, RATESDOTCA analyzed data from its travel insurance quoter from 2019 to 2021, and found some key shifts in Canadians’ travel behaviours throughout the pandemic.
While not back to 2019 numbers, travel insurance quotes continue to increase
The number of 2021 travel insurance quotes are still not up to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, but data suggests that travel intentions are returning. RATESDOTCA travel insurance quotes in the third quarter of this year were 293% higher than the same time in 2020. This means that an increased number of Canadians are planning out-of-province or international trips.
This change is promising for the country’s hard-hit travel industry. The number of travellers will most likely go up, especially as more countries ease their travel and border restrictions. The United States recently opened its land borders to Canadians who meet entry requirements, making cross-border trips a viable option again for Canadian residents.
More Canadians are choosing domestic trips than in previous years
RATESDOTCA data also show that while overall international travel insurance quotes still surpass the number of domestic quotes, an increasing number of Canadian travellers are opting for domestic travel destinations than in previous years. In fact, domestic travel insurance quotes were up 330% in the third quarter of 2021 when compared to Q3 2019, while international travel quotes were down by 14%.
In the third quarter of 2019, only 4.07% of travel insurance quotes on our site were for domestic travel. In 2020, around the same months, domestic travel quotes more than tripled, making up 14.49% of all travel quotes generated. And in Q3 2021, domestic travel intent further increased, amounting to 17.50% of the total travel quotes on our site during that quarter.
Several provinces and cities around Canada are seeing a steady decline in COVID-19 restrictions, with good vaccine uptake and more leisure and tourism spots reopening to the public. This allows Canadian travellers to make domestic travel plans with less stress and uncertainty. With several international travel advisories still in place, it’s not unusual for people to be more comfortable travelling within their own borders.
Another possible factor contributing to the increased interest in domestic travel is that some people continue to work fully remotely, allowing them to easily work from various parts of the country. Whether that means logging in to your work laptop from your family’s cabin in Muskoka or from your hotel room overlooking the serene lakes of Banff, remote work has allowed many Canadians to enjoy more trips than usual.
International travel has begun to pick up this year, but it is still lower than the overall 2019 numbers. During Q3 of 2019, 95.53% of RATESDOTCA’s travel insurance quotes were for international trips. In Q3 of 2021, that number was 15 percentage points lower, amounting only to 82.5% of total travel quotes.
Canada enters top three travel destinations
According to RATESDOTCA travel insurance quote data, the top three travel destinations during the fall of 2019 were the U.S., Mexico, and the United Kingdom. This year, however, we saw Canada enter the ring for Canadian residents, booting out the United Kingdom and usurping Mexico as the number-two destination on the list.
In fact, the number of Canadians choosing Canada as their travel destination is up a whopping 94% this Q3, according to our data, when compared to Q3 of 2019. This again points to how the focus for many travellers continues to be on destinations that are closer to home.
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Fewer senior travellers looking for travel insurance
An equally important trend we're seeing is that older travellers, specifically the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers, appear to be travelling far less now, which may be due to a combination of the pandemic and natural population decline. While comparing RATESDOTCA travel quoter data from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2021, we saw a 76% dip in travel quotes from the Silent Generation and a 56% drop in travel quotes from the Baby Boomer generation.
The rest of the travellers comparing travel insurance quotes are made up of Gen X, Gen Z, or Millennials. As more booster shots are administered across the country, this trend may change.
While travel in 2021 may look a bit different from 2019, the data show that many Canadians are starting to travel again now that the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic continues to decrease.
These post-pandemic travel trends are a reminder that we’re all trying to safely navigate a changed world. And part of that is making sure you have the proper insurance coverage when you travel. Before you depart, compare travel insurance quotes on RATESDOTCA to make sure you’re getting the best price for the coverage you need.
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About the data
The data represent Canadians who completed a travel insurance quote on RATESDOTCA between Q3 2019 and Q3 2021.