Virtuoso Releases List of Top Travel Trends for Canadians

Isla Mujeres. Photo courtesy of Visit Mexico.
Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun. Photo courtesy of Visit Mexico.

Luxury consortium Virtuoso has identified when, where and why upscale Canadians will be venturing in 2023. In Virtuoso’s 2022 Brand and Travel Trends Research, conducted in collaboration with YouGov, more than 500 Canadian travellers were surveyed.

The majority – 75 per cent – listed relaxation and disconnecting as the primary incentive for taking a leisure trip, followed by adventure, which is almost twice as important for Canadians than for global travellers (41 per cent versus 25 per cent). Additional insights include an affinity for sunny destinations, expedition cruises and a willingness to spend big and stay longer.

Warm-Weather Getaways

Virtuoso’s study showed 61 per cent of travellers preferred beach vacations, followed by city exploration (47 percent). Canadians are equally as likely to travel to Europe as they are to travel within their own country, and they showed a preference for the Caribbean or West Indies (36 per cent versus 20 per cent globally) and Mexico (30 per cent versus 16 per cent globally), which is likely due to a desire to escape to warmer climates during the winter months.

Family Travel: Exploration Boosts Child Development

Canadians indicated the most popular ways to travel are with a spouse or significant other and multi-generational family travel. Travelling with school-age children is consistently popular. Over half of those surveyed believe travel is important to the development of children under 18.

Spending Big and Staying Longer

Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, travellers plan to spend 12 per cent more in 2023; the anticipated annual spend for Virtuoso-advised travellers in 2023 is CAD $20,000 per person. While Virtuoso clients took about the same number of trips in the past year as other travellers, Virtuoso-advised travellers took longer trips, spent more nights in hotels, rentals and cruises, and skewed more towards international trips.

Travel Advisors Rule

Canadians favour using travel advisors more than other travellers globally, and 73 per cent of those surveyed typically research a trip two to eight months in advance.

They are also twice as likely to care about creating a travel experience that best fits their expectations over price (66 per cent Virtuoso-advised travellers versus 33 per cent DIY). Non-advised travellers spent CAD $8,400 per person on travel in 2022, while Virtuoso’s Canadian clients spent CAD $19,600 per person – proving they prioritize travel more than others and also highly value their travel advisor.

Surveyed travellers cite special benefits and values, complimentary perks and upgrades, VIP treatment and rare access, advisors’ firsthand expertise and a global network of agencies as the top reasons for booking with a Virtuoso travel advisor.

“Virtuoso has more than 2,300 travel advisors in Canada located coast-to-coast, and this number has grown by 13 per cent since 2019,” said General Manager, Virtuoso Canada Úna O’Leary. “Travellers look to advisors to save them time, provide expert guidance and offer an extra layer of protection if something goes wrong.”

Top Travel Destinations for 2023

Virtuoso tapped into its data warehouse of bookings to determine the top destinations of 2023, as determined by Canada-based travellers:

  1. Mexico: Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos
  2. Canada: Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary
  3. United States: Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas
  4. Dominican Republic: Punta Cana, Puerto Plata
  5. United Kingdom: London
  6. Jamaica: Montego Bay
  7. Italy: Rome, Venice
  8. France: Paris, Nice
  9. Australia: Sydney
  10. Portugal: Lisbon, Faro

For more information on how to connect with a Virtuoso travel advisor who can turn travel dreams into reality, please visit www.virtuoso.com.

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