Canada popular on its 150th birthday

Travel

According to a new survey by Canada-based RBC Insurance, Canada is a popular holiday destination for Canadians this year.

The survey, which was conducted between 27 April and 1 May 2017 found that, of the 79 per cent of Canadians planning to travel in 2017, 60 per cent are planning a ‘staycation’.

Additional findings were that respondents wouldn’t leave home without: their mobile phones (75 per cent), securing their home (61 per cent) and doing a vehicle tune up (51 per cent). However, 60 per cent of respondents said they would leave home without purchasing travel insurance.

"It's great to see that Canadians of all ages are going to be visiting friends and family or exploring this great country as we celebrate our 150th birthday," commented Stacey Hughes-Brooks, head of travel, RBC Insurance. "While we weren't surprised to see cell phones topping the list of items travellers would never leave home without, it's alarming that protecting their vacation plans with travel insurance was at the bottom of the list."

Indeed, 53 per cent of Canadians travelling within Canada said they were not likely to purchase travel insurance for their trip. Nearly half of those (46 per cent) said they don't need it, as they are already covered by their provincial healthcare plan, and 39 per cent said they already have travel insurance through their credit card or group benefits plan.

When it comes to those planning to travel internationally this year, 75 per cent of respondents indicated they would purchase travel insurance for their trip. Most of those not likely to buy travel insurance for international trips (61 per cent) said they're already covered through their credit card or group benefits plan, while 15 per cent said they are willing to take their chances.

"Whether you're planning a staycation or travelling internationally, travel insurance is something you should pack. It brings peace of mind to know that if you experience a health issue or your trip is interrupted, you will be taken care of," said Hughes-Brooks. "Most travellers are aware of the need for insurance while out of country, but there's a misconception that you don't need it while travelling domestically. Canadians need to be aware that government health plans may not cover all medical expenses outside of their home province. Items like air ambulances, X-rays, prescription drugs or emergency dental work are often not included."

Regarding the factors that influenced the travel plans of Canadians, budgetary considerations (68 per cent) came top of the list, followed by the desire to visit friends and family (67 per cent), unfavourable foreign currency exchange rates (47 per cent) and concerns about travel to other countries (35 per cent). The desire to explore Canada was found to be strong, with 62 per cent saying they wished to discover their home country, while 39 per cent claimed that celebrating Canada's 150th birthday influenced their decision to travel in Canada.