Expedia.ca Predicting Canadians will Travel Closer to Home in 2016

More than half still plan to travel this year; airfares expected to become more affordable

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - According to a recent survey commissioned by Canada's leading full-service online travel provider, Expedia.caTM, Canadians have their sights set on destinations closer to home when it comes to travel in 2016. Despite the slide in the value of the Canadian dollar, results of the survey show that 64 per cent of consumers surveyed are planning to travel and another 83 per cent wish they could be travelling.

"The decline in the Loonie's value, especially against the American dollar, is most likely why we're seeing so much search interest in domestic destinations1," said Adam Francis, Brand Marketing Director at Expedia Canada. "This is great news for Canadian tourism and for Canadian travellers. For many who have yet to set foot in the Maritimes or others who have always wanted to see the wonders of the west coast, 2016 is a great year to see what our beautiful country has to offer. From the breathtaking sites to the impeccable cuisine, Canada has so much to offer to those planning to travel in 2016."

2016 Travel Trends: The year of discovering home
Based on flight bookings made on Expedia.ca between January and December 2015, Canadians kept their travels close to home. The top destinations Canadians travelled to in 2015 were Toronto, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Calgary and Montreal. 

Travel close to home is expected to continue as a trend in 2016, with more Canadians making trips within their very own backyard compared to international destinations. Based on Expedia.ca search data, from July to December 2015, the most frequently searched destinations on Expedia.ca for travel in 2016 (from January to June 2016), in order of popularity were:

  • Toronto
  • New York
  • Vancouver
  • Montreal
  • Niagara Falls
  • Orlando
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Banff National Park
  • Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • Quebec

Impact of the sagging Loonie
Almost three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) said the weakened Loonie is impacting their travel plans for 2016. Seventy-three per cent said it will affect their choice of destination, with half (51 per cent) saying it will change how often they travel this year and 42 per cent reporting it is affecting how long their vacation stay will be.

As Canadians are carefully planning their travel, the good news is there are a number of potential savings to look forward to when it comes to travel in 2016.

2016 Outlook for Savings
In partnership with the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), the Expedia group recently released findings on its second annual global air travel outlook report, Preparing for Takeoff: Air travel outlook for 2016. The data highlighted key trends from a number of credible industry sources and found that 2016 is expected to be a good year for travellers to save money.

"Fare savings in a previous year are often good indicators for the year to come," said Francis. "Expedia's analysis of ARC data found that economy air ticket prices declined roughly 8 per cent year-over-year between October 2014 and October 2015, with the biggest drops in July and August 2015. At Expedia.ca, we are looking forward to seeing this trend continue in 2016 so Canadians can benefit from significant savings."

Regardless of where 2016 takes you, whether close to home for a quick getaway or far away to experience new adventures, Expedia.ca offers money-saving tips to consider as you make plans for 2016 travels:   


Take your dollar further – Consider travelling to destinations where the Canadian dollar has longevity. Hot spots to consider in 2016 include:

  • Asia is a popular destination for lovers of adventure and rich culture, offering beautiful bucket list destinations like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Food and hotels in these locations are much cheaper than in North America.
  • Eastern European countries like Poland, Croatia, and Hungary are cost-effective alternatives to the more traditional European destinations like Paris or London. These destinations provide numerous sightseeing spots to visit and plenty of affordable food options.
  • Brazil's currency in comparison to the Canadian dollar provides an advantage to Canadian travellers. With the upcoming 2016 Games, a number of new hotels have opened up where travellers can expect to find great deals after the games.  


Bundle up for savings – Book flights at the same time as hotel for instant savings. Booking packages on Expedia.ca can save travellers more than $300 per booking. The number is even higher in resort destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean where savings can be in the range of $1,000-$1,500.  


Book in advance – After analyzing terabytes of flight data from more than 10 billion passenger flights to determine the biggest potential savings for ticket prices based on advanced purchase, Expedia and ARC determined that the best time to buy an economy ticket for travel within North America is roughly 57 days in advance, yielding a potential savings of about 10 percent versus the average fare. Optimal lead times for tickets from North America to international destinations are longer:

  • North America to Europe: 176 days in advance, for savings of 11%
  • North America to Asia-Pacific: 160 days in advance, for savings of 13%
  • North America to the Middle East and Africa: 144 days in advance, for savings of 24%
  • North America to South America: 90 days in advance, for savings of 10%


Book over the weekend (or Tuesday) – Based on 2015 data, Expedia and ARC found that on average, weekends are the best time to find great deals, with Tuesday close behind. There are general caveats to consider when searching for the best flight deals as the market for airline fares rapidly changes. Expedia and ARC recommend that travellers who find a fare that looks like a great deal should purchase it, regardless of the day of week.

For more information on the Preparing for Takeoff: Air travel outlook for 2016 report, download a complimentary copy by visiting the Expedia.ca Travel Blog.

From February 3rd to February 4th, 2016 an online survey was conducted among 1,506 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Expedia.ca is the nation's leading full-service online travel provider. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia.ca offers the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, and travel insurance. Expedia customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response. Expedia.ca is owned and operated by Expedia, Inc.

ARC powers the U.S.-based travel industry with premier business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools, and powerful data analytics. In 2014, ARC settled $89.6 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for more than 9,400 travel agencies with 13,000 points of sale. By providing world-class business services and products, ARC enables participating agencies and 200 carriers to focus on what's important—increasing their revenue. Established in 1984, ARC is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com.

1 Based on Expedia.ca search data from July to December 2015 for travel between January and June 2016

SOURCE Expedia Canada

Image with caption: "Expedia.ca shares top trends & tips to help plan for 2016 travels (CNW Group/Expedia Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160223_C5322_PHOTO_EN_626661.jpg

For further information: Charlene Magnaye, Veritas Communications, Magnaye@veritasinc.com, 416-955-4573

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