2022 spring and summer travel trends: Canadian travellers want domestic getaways more than international, data reveals

Halifax, Canada - 10 August 2021: Canadian Flag and Macdonald Bridge

There is one travel trend that has continued to stay strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians planning trips closer to home.

According to Expedia, domestic travel demand remains strongest, even while international travel demand continues to grow.

Domestic vs international flight searches on KAYAK
Domestic vs international flight searches on KAYAK

Looking at data from the online platform Kayak, while the number of Canadians searching for international flights has been fairly steadily increasing since the end of 2021, searches for domestic flights are still dominating. Domestic flight searches on April 9, for example, were 62 per cent higher than the same day three years ago.

Muir Halifax Hotel Room
Muir Halifax Hotel Room

Leaning into Canadian traditions

The Muir hotel in Halifax, which opened during the pandemic last year, is really putting an emphasis on its guests being able to really lean into that Maritimes experience.

“Every detail that you look at from the building to the furniture, to the materials that were used, are meant to be inspired by true Nova Scotia traditions,” Eugenie Jason, General Manager, Muir Halifax told Yahoo Canada.

“We have a lot of artists that are present in the hotel… In every single guest room we showcase a painting from Nova Scotia, done by a Nova Scotia artist, 14 painters in total… Even the food that is served in our restaurants, curated by Chef [Anthony] Walsh,...he has managed to create a contemporary take on some Nova Scotia traditional dishes.”

Muir Halifax Hotel's Drift Restaurant
Muir Halifax Hotel's Drift Restaurant

Located in the Queen’s Marque area, the waterfront district in downtown Halifax, Jason describes it as an “urban resort,” where this summer guests can take on the city on bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, a high-speed motor boat, and even a 36-foot Morris yacht on the waterfront, while also having that proximity to the downtown core.

Jason herself didn’t know much about the city of Halifax before she moved there for the opening of the hotel last year, so she understands the trend of exploring all Canada has to offer firsthand.

“I think that when you look at the destination itself, it's a stunning coastal city,” she said. “It has a lot to offer in the way that you have a vibrant downtown area,...you also have some very lovely little historic streets, any moment you would turn around and [you feel like] you're either in Europe or in Old Montreal, for example.”

While COVID-19 may have put some travellers on high alert for measures that help them feel comfortable and safe, for Jason, it’s about providing “reassurance” for hotel guests.

“Hygiene is key, regardless of the level of service you're providing to your guests, cleaning should not be related to the price that you're paying, but we have enhanced some of our guest amenities to just provide more reassurance,” she said. “It would be safe to say that many hotels, we’ve maintained those practices to protect both guests and colleagues from any risks.”

Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada - September 25, 2021 : Moraine Lake Cafe in Banff National Park with snow-covered peaks of canadian Rocky Mountains in the background and kayaks in the foreground.
Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada - September 25, 2021 : Moraine Lake Cafe in Banff National Park with snow-covered peaks of canadian Rocky Mountains in the background and kayaks in the foreground.

Vacation rentals in Canada in high demand

If hotels aren’t your speed and you’re looking for a vacation rental experience in Canada, new data from Vrbo reveals that people looking for a Canadian getaway need to organize quickly, because rentals are booking up fast, across Canada.

Demand for Vrbo properties this summer is outpacing last summer by about 25 per cent and popular summer vacation destinations like Huntsville and Prince Edward County in Ontario, and Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, have less than 30 per cent of properties available to book for July.

"When demand for summer vacation homes peaked earlier than usual in 2021, it was not a huge surprise because people were craving private, whole homes that gave them the ability to be separate from others,” a statement from Mary Zajac, Vrbo spokesperson reads. “As restrictions ease across Canada, turns out families are continuing to book even earlier, and this trend shows no signs of stopping in 2022 or beyond.”

If you haven’t chosen a place to stay for the summer yet, and you’re looking for a vacation rental for July, these are some of your best choices:

Banff, Alta.

Banff is just one of the most iconic, picturesque destinations you can explore in Canada, whether on foot, by bike or in the water on a canoe or kayak. Don’t forget to make a stop at the famous Banff Upper Hot Springs, truly a bucket list experience with incredible views while you soak in the mineral water pool.

Canmore, Alta.

Another great mountainous destination, Canmore is located just an hour away from the Calgary airport. Over the summer in particular, you can bring the whole family to experience the Canmore Raft Tours. If you want an ultimate sightseeing experience, a tour with Alpine Helicopters will give a real birds eye view of the destination.

Aerial view of Whistler Village in summer. Canada's top tourist destinations. Best ski resorts to visit in summer.
Aerial view of Whistler Village in summer. Canada's top tourist destinations. Best ski resorts to visit in summer.

Niagara Falls, Ont.

Niagara Falls is often synonymous with Ontario travel. From thrilling adventures like WildPlay Zipline and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours on Niagara River, to exploring the Niagara Glen nature reserve, or the Waves Indoor Waterpark and Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, there is always something to do in Niagara Falls.

Golden, B.C.

Located between Kicking Horse River and the Columbia River, Golden is the perfect place for canoeing and kayaking. If you’re looking to experience Golden from new heights, skydiving, paragliding or hang gliding are more thrilling choices when you travel to the area.

Whistler, B.C.

While many think of snow activities when they think of Whistler, there’s plenty to do in the area when the weather gets warmer. Take advantage of the unique opportunity to see black bears in their natural habitat with Whistler Bear Viewing Tours, relax in the sun or grab some paddleboards at Whistler's lakes and beaches, or take the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola to access alpine trails on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.