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Wednesday,  April 17, 2024 6:04 PM 

Virtuoso: when, where & how affluent Canadians will travel in 2024

  • Buzz
  •   03-18-2024  9:45 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Virtuoso: when, where & how affluent Canadians will travel in 2024
(Mohamed Masaau/Unsplash)
Pax Global Media

Virtuoso has shared its latest data and insights from its network of travel advisors, preferred partners and high net worth/ultra-high net worth clientele across Canada, revealing when, where and how the affluent are travelling in 2024 and beyond. 

The forecasted trends demonstrate a surge in outbound leisure spend and a staggering rise in future cruise bookings as well as strong interest in foreign destinations like Costa Rica, Portugal, Japan and Thailand.

As shared at Virtuoso's Canada Forum in Toronto last month, Virtuoso's 2023 sales from its Canadian members increased significantly over 2022, climbing more than 22 per cent – a record high.

READ MORE: Skyrocketing cruise sales & France’s 452% increase: Virtuoso shares latest trends at T.O. Forum

Looking at 2023 sales by category from Virtuoso's Canadian members, cruising led the way, and the trend continues in 2024.

  • Cruises: 48 percent
  • Tours: 32 percent
  • On-sites (destination management companies): 29 percent
  • Hotels: 6 percent

Contemporary cruising comes out on top in 2023 versus 2022: 

  • Ocean: +48 percent
  • River: +87 percent
  • Small Ships (Yacht): +38 percent
  • Expedition: +42 percent 

Compared to a 92-day average booking window in 2022, 2023 was up more than 14 per cent to a 105-day average booking window.

Future bookings are promising, particularly in cruise

  • Future sales from Virtuoso's Canadian members are strong, with a 16 per cent uptick in advance bookings (18-24 months out) compared to the same period in 2022. This is on track with the global percentage of 19 per cent.
  • The real standout is cruise: Virtuoso's future cruise bookings from Canadian members are 32 percent higher than they were for 2022, outpacing global bookings, which are at 30 percent.

Here's additional travel insights per the Virtuoso 2024 Brand and Travel Trend Tracker, a proprietary study conducted by YouGov.

Canadians are looking to relax

When it comes to motivations for leisure travel, Canadians are most interested in relaxation and disconnecting, followed by adventure, romance and culture.

  1. Relaxation and disconnecting
  2. Adventure
  3. Romantic getaways
  4. Cultural visits
  5. Celebrations
  6. Health and wellness

Canadians are willing to travel great distances

Canadians have destination preferences that differ from our neighbours to the south. Canadian travellers are significantly more likely to visit Costa Rica, Portugal and Thailand than U.S. travellers. The top five emerging destinations for Canadians:

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Japan
  3. Portugal
  4. Iceland
  5. Thailand

Meanwhile, Virtuoso’s 2024 “Luxe Report,” an annual survey that predicts booking trends based on the input of its global network of 20,000 travel advisors, highlights the activities and destinations that affluent travellers are pursuing this year.

From “Dark Sky Tourism” in Norway, Iceland or Canada, under the Northern lights, to slow safaris in Africa to springtime in Japan to expeditions in Antarctica and Galapagos to a Belmond train ride from Paris to Istanbul aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the experiences range from relaxing to adventurous. (Click here to see the entire list).

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