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New survey shows how COVID-19 has disrupted Canadian’s travel plans this summer

Ottawa, ON. MAY 5th, 2020 – The travel and tourism sector has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. A typical weekend in late March sees about 40,000 Americans enter Canada by land. On March 29 of this year, that number fell to only 531.

These survey findings, released today by The Conference Board of Canada, show how much the pandemic has disrupted Canadians’ travel plans this summer and into next year. More survey results are available here.

“Our survey shows that travellers are paying attention to government’s guidelines and are staying home,” says Todd Crawford, Associate Director, Economic Forecasting, from The Conference Board of Canada.  “When it comes to domestic travel, we expect travel intentions should return to somewhat normal in April 2021. Whereas, international travel should remain at below-normal levels until December 2021.”

Sample of findings:

  • Our spring survey typically reveals that around 75–80 per cent of Canadians are planning a leisure trip. This year, only 45 per cent are.
  • Most travellers have delayed or cancelled a trip: 58 per cent of people surveyed in March and 73 per cent who responded in April either delayed or cancelled their trip this summer.
  • More Canadian travellers plan to stay in Canada this year: 66 per cent of travellers are planning domestic trips.

Two surveys were conducted after the Government of Canada closed the borders to international travellers. The first closed on March 23 with 1,500 respondents; the second, April 16 with a total of 2,000 respondents.

About The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s foremost independent, non-partisan, and evidenced-based applied research organization.  We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic reports, custom research, data, networks and events they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. Our focus areas include Canadian Economics, Energy & Environment, Innovation & Technology, Immigration and more. We stand at the intersection of research and policy, where insights meet impact.

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