If you're looking forward to travelling in the new year, you are far from alone.
But as several industry experts have pointed out, there won't exactly be a return to "normal."
While most countries have removed their pandemic-related restrictions, the travel landscape looks decidedly different than it did a few years ago.
Skyscanner, an online travel search agency, has released its 2023 Travel Trends Report, which examines industry patterns and consumer behaviour.
For its Canadian survey, the company polled 1,000 people in November, looking at its search data and cross-referencing it with the lowest user-generated hashtags from Instagram.
While price-driven travel will be the main trend in 2023, over a third (33 per cent) of Canadian travellers plan to go on as many vacations in the new year as they did in 2022. And even more travellers (43 per cent) plan to go on more trips in 2023 than the year prior; only seven per cent of vacationers plan to travel less.
Many travellers will be budget conscious in the new year, but a staggering 71 per cent of Canadians travelling abroad plan to spend more on their overseas holiday.
Popular Canada travel destinations in 2023
For families, many sun destinations have seen a dramatic increase in searches over the past year. For example, Canadian interest in Los Cabos, Mexico have jumped a whopping 56 per cent. Interest in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic has increased by 14 per cent while Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe searches have climbed 11 per cent.
Canadian couples are also chasing the sun in the new year, with searches for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates up 39 per cent. Similarly, California's largest city, Los Angeles, saw searches increase by 30 per cent. Varadero, Cuba saw a modest increase in interest, at three per cent.
Two emerging destinations for Canadians include Amman, Jordan (469 per cent increase in Skyscanner searches) and Mexico City (162 per cent increase in Skyscanner searches).
Some of the most shared city destinations according to Instagram globally include:
- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- Paris, France
- London, United Kingdom
What kind of trips will Canadians seek out in the new year?
The biggest travel driver in the new year will be to reunite or visit with friends and family, with 55 per cent of Canadians surveyed expressing that they are eager to connect with loved ones. After that, 44 per cent of travellers say they want to hit the beach while 26 per cent of them want to explore cities.
Three-quarters of Canadian travellers now use a mobile device to plan or book their next trip. The most popular spots to book travel on a smartphone include: at work, out at dinner, and on another vacation.
Seventy-three per cent of Canadians were inspired to choose a vacation by friends and family, while 38 per cent followed influencers. Businesses (16 per ent) and celebrities (15 per cent) ranked much lower.
Skyscanner also noticed that travellers are much more interested in sustainable travel now than they were prior to the pandemic.
"Wildlife spotting and hiking are in the top five travel activities planned for holidays in 2023, suggesting the pandemic’s emphasis on getting outside for walks and connecting with the local environment is now transferring as a key component of travel plans," explain the report's authors.
Solo travel is also no longer considered a "niche" interest, according to the company's data. Almost one-half of Canadians surveyed (45 per cent) plan to travel solo in the new year, with a quarter of them choosing "to go their own way as family and friends don’t share their travel interests."