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Trends 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 – According to a recent survey commissioned by Canada’s leading full-service online travel provider,, 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 destinations,” 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 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 search data, from July to December 2015, the most frequently searched destinations on 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, we are looking forward to seeing this trend continue in 2016 so Canadians can benefit from significant savings.”

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.

Expedia Canada survey

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.