Despite rising indications of a coming summer travel boom, a new survey has found nearly two thirds of Canadians are not yet ready for a post-pandemic vacation. 

According to the Leger Marketing survey, conducted on behalf of RATESDOTCA and BNN Bloomberg, 62 per cent of Canadians are evenly split between either holding off making travel plans or having no intention of traveling at all in the near future. Nearly two thirds of the 31 per cent of respondents who are holding off making travel plans cited the need for more widespread vaccinations as the main reason for their delay.  

The results are based on an online survey of 1,516 Canadians completed between May 14-16 using a representative sample of Canada’s population. 

With most respondents citing no near-term travel plans, the results stand in stark contrast to earlier surveys, such as one from the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada released in late 2020 that found 80 per cent of Canadians hope to travel this year. 

While the remaining 38 per cent of respondents said they do plan on travelling either as soon as the rules allow (25 per cent) or as soon as they are fully vaccinated (13 per cent), less than half of those planning to travel soon (42 per cent of that group) intend on purchasing travel insurance.  

While several countries have recently pledged to share hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses with the developing world, the international vaccination process is expected to proceed slowly. That is part of the reason the International Air Transport Association does not expect international travel to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. 

Of the 38 per cent of Canadians who are planning to travel this year, nearly all of them are planning to boost their vacation budgets with 90 per cent of them saying they will spend at least as much or more than on a typical pre-pandemic trip. One in ten of those planning to travel intend to spend at least $5,000 more than what they would consider typical. 

That extra money is not going to extra protection, however, even amid expectations of a maze of border rules remaining in place throughout the summer travel season. Barely half (52 per cent) of respondents with near-term plans to travel internationally said they will be purchasing travel insurance.  

That figure is only slightly higher than pre-pandemic levels. According to a RATESDOTCA survey conducted by Leger in February 2020, roughly 40 per cent of Canadians traveled outside of the country in the previous three years and had insurance coverage for their trip.

BNN Bloomberg has teamed up with RATESDOTCA to take the pulse of Canadians every month on key pocketbook issues as we strive to better understand how households are navigating COVID-19. This is the first instalment in what will be monthly special coverage.