2024 Travel Snapshot: Canadians on the Move

Eddie Sheppard

Eddie Sheppard

Between January 4 and 9, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a nationwide survey with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and above to assess travel intentions for 2024. The survey delved into multiple facets of travel, encompassing motivations, interests, and potential barriers, providing a comprehensive overview of the factors shaping Canadians’ travel decisions in the coming year.

Intentions to Travel in 2024

Half of Canadians (50%) note that they intend to travel in 2024. Among them, 11% have already booked their travel, with an additional 41% who express intentions to book in the near future. These results create a promising outlook for continued growth in the travel industry in 2024.

Notably, 71% of Canadians who intend to travel in 2024 have the intention to engage in domestic travel. Among them, 21% are considering a staycation within their region, 44% plan to explore within their province, and 45% have aspirations for travel within Canada but outside their province. Outside of domestic travel, 57% of Canadians who intend to travel in 2024 express an interest in international exploration. Among them, 31% are considering the United States, and 40% indicate a desire to travel beyond North America.

Motivations for Leisure Travel in 2024

Many Canadians planning to travel in 2024 have relaxation (47%) and visiting family and friends (45%) as their primary motivations. Furthermore, exploring nature (37%) and engaging in cultural exploration (31%) are additional factors driving leisure trips in 2024.

Analyzing the preferred destinations, the data indicates that individuals seeking relaxation (56%), cultural exploration (42%), and culinary experiences (33%) are notably more inclined to travel outside of Canada and the United States for these pursuits. Conversely, those with plans to travel within Canada are significantly more likely to do so for visiting family and friends (49%) and participating in adventure travel (15%) compared to other destinations.

Travel Budget and Barriers

Despite the existing hurdles posed by inflation and the rising cost of living across the country, a considerable number of Canadians intending to travel in 2024 note that they will maintain or increase their travel budget compared to 2023. Specifically, 38% plan to spend more on travel in 2024, while 39% aim to maintain the same spending level as in the previous year.

In crafting their travel budget for 2024, a substantial 75% of Canadians reveal their intention to adjust their budget to allow for travel and tourism opportunities. Among these individuals, 49% plan to cut down on various expenses, such as dining out, entertainment, and non-essential purchases, while 34% intend to reallocate parts of their budget specifically for travel. Results to reveal demographic differences, with younger Canadians, particularly those aged 18 to 29 (55%) and 30 to 44 (42%), being significantly more likely to take on side hustles or part-time work to save for travel. Additionally, older Canadians, notably those aged 60 and above, are more likely to not have to make budget adjustments to accommodate their travel plans (48%).

Examining potential barriers to travel in 2024, Canadians primarily cite financial concerns. The key factors impacting travel plans include the current cost of living (66%), transportation expenses (59%), the low value of the Canadian dollar (53%), and a loss of personal income (47%). These findings highlight the significant influence of economic factors on Canadians’ decision-making regarding travel in the upcoming year.

The Upshot

Despite facing economic challenges, encompassing concerns about the cost of living, transportation expenses, the weakened Canadian dollar, and potential income loss, many Canadians are planning to travel in 2024. Notably, half of Canadians express a desire to travel in the coming year, with almost three-quarters opting for domestic destinations. The primary motivations for travel are varied, including relaxation, visiting family and friends, exploring nature, and cultural exploration. These results present a significant opportunity for Canadian tour operators and DMOs to showcase the country’s attractions and draw travelers to their destinations that align with their primary motivations for travel.


The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from January 4 to 9, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

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