Ontarians Still Concerned About Travel Delays & Cancellationsby Dori Saltzman /
Nearly two in three Ontarians are still concerned about having their travel plans delayed or cancelled. Despite their concerns, however, Ontarians still plan to travel, with nearly seven in 10 saying they plan to travel this spring or summer. The findings come from a January survey conducted by PMG Intelligence on behalf of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO).
The survey also found that more Ontarians plan to stick closer to home than travel abroad. Sixty-eight percent they plan to travel within Ontario, while 51% intend to journey across Canada, and 47% intend to go international.
"Ontarians are ready to travel but they are also deeply aware of the complexities in today's travel environment," said Richard Smart, president and CEO of TICO.
According to the survey results, 71% of respondents feel that travel is more complex now than it was prior to the start of the pandemic.
When it comes to what they're worried about, 65% of respondents said their most concerned about having their travel plans canceled or delayed due to forces beyond their control. For 60%, being stranded away from home is their biggest concern.
On a related note, 65% said they are concerned about being able to protect their travel investment. As a result, 73% of respondents said they are more likely to book travel plans with flexible rebooking and cancellation policies than they were before the pandemic. Additionally, 78% of respondents said they expect to be fully refunded or offered other similar travel if their original plans are cancelled for any reason (outside of them cancelling the trip).
What hasn't changed are the factors influencing travel decisions, which include all the usual suspects:
- Destination (86%)
- Price (86%)
- Accommodations (84%)
- The overall travel experience (81%)
- Mode of travel (76%)
Other factors influencing travel purchase decisions, outside of the usual, are the potential for extreme weather conditions (66%) and being eco-friendly (35%).
As for COVID safety and related restrictions, the survey found that fewer people are worried about these specifically, with 59% saying COVID safety/restrictions continue to be important considerations in their travel purchase decisions – down from 81% in 2021.
Additionally, 62% of respondents said they consider the availability of consumer protections when making a booking, while 66% said they consider the reputation of the travel agency or tour operators they are booking with.