One of the inevitable consequences of the pandemic has been less travel. But for Canadians, who live in the second-largest country on earth by landmass, this summer it will mean more road trips.
That’s according to a poll by Leger Marketing, commissioned by Toyota, which suggests that 49 percent of Canadians are planning a road trip this summer, up 10 percent over 2020. The research says that 84 percent are planning on staying closer to home than they otherwise would have. That suggests that fewer people will be taking flights to popular international vacation destinations.
With pandemic restrictions slowly lifting as much of the country gets its first vaccine dose, local travel may give people an outlet for exploration even if other countries aren’t ready for tourism yet. Road trips may also provide those desperate to get out of the house with a way to see something new without being trapped in a plane with strangers for hours.
It seems that Canadians would rather be “trapped” with people they do know. Of those polled, 43 percent said they’d be spending time with family and friends. Still, 51 percent said they’d be exploring new cities and towns nearby but most of those planning road trips said they would stay within 4-6 hours of their home, suggesting that shorter day trips are still preferred to longer ones.
The biggest attraction for Canadians leaving lockdown is the outdoors, though. Of those planning a road trip, 56 percent say they plan to go hiking, 45 percent are planning a picnic, and 42 percent hope to go camping.
“It’s not surprising that, over a year into the pandemic, Canadians are more eager than ever to get back behind the wheel and explore our beautiful country as soon as its safe to do so,” said Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate at Toyota Canada. “We are so fortunate to live in a country that has so much to offer in terms of scenic drives and outdoor adventure, and it’s wonderful to see an increased appreciation for the outdoors.”