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Travel trends in Canada for 2023

Jan. 25, 2023
5 mins
woman standing at airport looking at travel delays

Canadians' appetite for travel continues to be high, as demonstrated by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s data from across 17 large airports across the country. On January 1, the passenger count increased by a whopping 82% in comparison to the same date in 2019 — surpassing pre-pandemic travel levels.

2022, after all, was touted as the “year of revenge travel,” with many people determined to get back on the road and in the skies as Canada and popular travel destinations removed all travel restrictions.

To get a sense of what lies ahead for travel trends in 2023, RATESDOTCA reviewed its travel insurance quoter data from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022. These data give us an idea of how Canadians have been shopping for travel insurance, where they’re planning to vacation this year, and other travel trends. Here’s what we learned.

Travel insurance quotes jump significantly from 2021 to 2022

Travel insurance quote levels were up significantly year over year in 2022 for all plan types, including annual, single, all inclusive, and trip cancellation.

YoY change in travel insurance quotes in canada 2021-2022.jpg

That said, travel insurance quote levels were exponentially higher in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 than in those same quarters in 2022, likely due to pent-up demand after months of not being able to go anywhere in 2021. Perhaps, travel chaos that dominated much of the headlines last year prompted Canadians to pull back on travel plans late last year.

Below are the year-over-year increases for all-inclusive and trip cancellation quotes from families and singles:

All-inclusive (family) Trip cancellation (family) All-inclusive (single) Trip cancellation (single)
Q3 2021 +1,589% +1,369% +1,061% +1,139%
Q3 2022 +69% +82% +44% +39%
Q4 2021 +232% +307% +156% +212%
Q4 2022 +22% +8% +20% +15%

Travel insurance quotes were the highest during the late summer months of 2021 (July, August, and September), but tapered off during those same months in 2022.

While 2022 was the first without travel restrictions, Canadians are now feeling the pinch of rising expenses, which has made many averse to travel with ongoing baggage delays, long lines, overcrowded airports, and cancelled flights. Travellers’ nervousness may well be reflected in the travel insurance quoter data.

Speaking to these trends, Daniel Ivans, RATESDOTCA insurance expert, notes that Canadian families have been impacted by the implications of the pandemic. “The costs of basic needs, like food and gas, are steadily increasing,” he says. “The housing market too, is witnessing interest rates rise steadily. Families have become more financially conscious since 2020, and more inclined to save for the unpredictable than perhaps even before.”

Slightly more families planning for trips compared to solo travellers

The data also demonstrated that quotes for all-inclusive, annual, single, and trip cancellation travel insurance policies were high during 2022. An all-inclusive travel insurance policy is a comprehensive plan that includes medical coverage and trip cancellation in the event of an unforeseen situation, like falling ill before or during your vacation. An annual plan covers you for trips throughout the year, irrespective of how many you take, while a single plan is for one trip only.

Travel insurance quotes for all-inclusive insurance policies and trip cancellation insurance plans increased by 126% and 105%, respectively, year over year, from 2021 to 2022.

“Canadian travellers ought to be doing their due diligence to confirm that they are in control of their finances as their surroundings become less predictable, and more uncontrollable,” says Ivans.

There were also marginally more families planning for travel, as compared to single plans. In 2022, there was a 91% year-over year increase in families looking for travel insurance, and an 85% year-over-year increase in quotes from singles.

“While most Canadian families are wishing to get away, most are unable to, due to the financial constraints created by the pandemic,” Ivans adds. “Those with fewer household responsibilities, however, will continue to satiate their desire to see the world. They’ve had three years to plan, and they are ready.”

Interestingly, within the family travel insurance quoter data, there is a higher percentage of females filling out travel insurance quotes, signalling they are perhaps primarily responsible for planning and booking the family vacation.

Top 10 travel destinations for Canadians

Considering the constraints and risks of travelling to a far-flung destination amid the pandemic, the list of top 10 preferred destinations hasn’t fluctuated much over the past few years. Domestic travel within Canada and United States continue to remain popular, along with sunnier coasts, like Mexico and Cuba.

The U.S. tops the list for the most popular travel destination, according to Q4 2022 quoter data. And domestic travel within Canada continues to be one of the top choices for travellers. Mexico, Cuba, and Britain are among the top five destinations for Canadian travellers.

Ranking Destination
1 United States
2 Canada
3 Mexico
4 Cuba
5 Great Britain
6 Dominican Republic
7 India
8 Italy
9 France
10 Costa Rica

Due to high levels of violence, kidnapping, and organized crime, last week, the government of Canada issued a travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. While you shouldn’t be travelling to any place where a travel advisory has been issued, be mindful of the fact that your insurance coverage is void in such destinations. Despite a travel advisory, Mexico continues to be a popular destination for Canadians seeking out a beach vacation.

If you decide to ignore the travel advisory and travel anyway, the insurance company can deny your claims, in the event you fall sick or face any other emergency. If a travel advisory was issued before you purchased travel insurance, and you decide to cancel your trip before leaving, the insurance company can also deny your claim.

More travel trends to expect in 2023

Looking at anticipated travel trends in 2023, Ivans notes that the insurance industry is anticipating an increase in traffic across the broad, as more travellers mean a higher likelihood of claims. “Canadians across the country are excited to enjoy a well-deserved getaway, and travel trends are not only picking up, but are expected to explode,” he says. “Airports are already preparing to get busier.”

Just one month into 2023, and several insurance providers are already seeing a rising interest in people seeking travel insurance to protect themselves amid post-COVID-19 and weather-related travel uncertainty. Ivans recommends Canadians purchase travel insurance when planning for the trip to their dream destination. While Canadians are not required to carry travel insurance by any third party, he suggests they consider it as a necessity.

He notes that travel insurance is quite affordable, especially when compared with other mandatory insurance products, like home and auto insurance. An insurance plan that ensures coverage for any financially crippling incidents and peace of mind during a much-needed vacation are far more valuable than a few hundred dollars that you invest in travel insurance.

“Travellers are strongly advised to speak with a broker to help understand this important part of their daily lives," Ivans says, "and how they may be impacted by being unprepared for the unexpected."


We analyzed data from the RATESDOTCA travel insurance quoter from Q1 2020 to Q1 2022 to determine the most popular destinations and travel insurance choices among Canadian travellers.

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Shaistha Khan

Shaistha Khan is an editor and writer at RATESDOTCA. She is a journalist, writer, and communications specialist with 13 years of experience across the personal finance, business and professional development, oil and gas, and travel and tourism industries. She has worked as a content editor and writer in seven countries, with Canada being the most recent.

She holds a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) and a diploma in Public Relations and Reputation Management.

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