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Survey finds Canada is the travel hot spot during our 150th Anniversary

Oh Canada - Canada is destination of choice for 60% of Canadian travelers during 150th anniv says @RBCInsurance@RBCInsurance

Summary: 60% of Canadians are planning to vacation across Canada this year coinciding with the country’s 150th birthday celebrations. For those leaving their home province, a majority (59%) will use their vehicles to embark on their Canadian road trip. Canadians agree that the allure of travel is experiencing something new with 62% looking forward to discovering Canada and 84% want to do something on their travels that they wouldn’t do at home. Alarmingly, with millions getting ready to pack for their summer vacations, travel insurance remains a low priority with 53% of Canadians travelling within Canada - but outside of their home province - not likely to purchase travel insurance for their trip.  

TORONTO, May 16, 2017 - With the Victoria Day holiday upon us, the unofficial kick-off to summer has started and Canadians are putting the finishing touches on their travel plans. As we celebrate our nation’s 150th birthday, Canada has emerged as the hot spot for Canadian travellers this year. According to a new RBC Insurance survey, 79 per cent of Canadians are planning to travel in 2017 and a majority (60%) are planning a staycation here in the true north.

With millions of Canadians preparing to hit the road, respondents said they would never leave home without their cellphones (75%), followed by securing their home (61%) and doing a vehicle tune-up (51%). Surprisingly, 60 per cent would leave home without purchasing travel insurance.

“It’s great to see that Canadians of all ages are going to be visiting friends and family or exploring this great country as we celebrate our 150th birthday,” said Stacey Hughes-Brooks, head of travel, RBC Insurance. “While we weren’t surprised to see cell phones topping the list of items travellers would never leave home without, it’s alarming that protecting their vacation plans with travel insurance was at the bottom of the list.”

Mind the Travel Insurance Gap
While 79 per cent of Canadians said they were planning to travel this year, packing travel insurance was not a priority. More than half (53%) of Canadians travelling within Canada - but outside of their home province - were not likely to purchase travel insurance for their trip. Nearly half (46%) of those said they don’t need it, as they are already covered by their provincial health care plan and 39 per cent said they already have travel insurance through their credit card or group benefits plan.

For those planning to travel internationally this year, 75 per cent indicated they would purchase travel insurance for their trip. A majority (61%) of those not likely to buy travel insurance for international trips say they’re already covered through their credit card or group benefits plan while 15 per cent are willing to take their chances for a smooth trip.

“Whether you’re planning a staycation or traveling internationally, travel insurance is something you should pack. It brings peace of mind to know that if you experience a health issue or your trip is interrupted, you will be taken care of,” added Hughes-Brooks. “Most travellers are aware of the need for insurance while out of country but there’s a misconception that you don’t need it while traveling domestically. Canadians need to be aware that government health plans may not cover all medical expenses outside of their home province. Items like air ambulances, X-rays, prescription drugs or emergency dental work are often not included.”

Staycation Motivation
Canadians took into account a number of factors when making their travel plans this year. For those staying in Canada, budgetary considerations (68%) topped the list, along with the desire to visit friends and family (67%). Unfavourable foreign currency exchange rates (47%) and concerns about travel to other countries (35%) also weighed in on their decisions. Regardless, the allure of exploring home was strong with 62 per cent saying they had a desire to discover Canada and 39 per cent indicated that celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday influenced their decision to travel in Canada.

Like Canada, travel choices are diverse

  • Prairie residents (50%) and Albertans (48%) are most likely to set their sights on exploring a different part of Canada this year.
  • Quebecers are the most likely to go travelling within their own province (46%), compared to residents of BC (43%), Ontario (40%), Atlantic Canada (39%), Alberta (38%), and the Prairies (35%).
  • Ontario is the top Canadian travel destination and the USA remains top destination outside Canada.
  • 84 per cent look to do something they normally wouldn’t do at home. This includes visiting a theatre or sporting event (71%), visiting local museums or art galleries (70%), take an adventure like whale watching or ocean kayaking (51%) or participate in the great Canadian tradition of camping (51%).
  • Millennials are embracing the great outdoors with 67 per cent going camping, 65 per cent are looking for adventure like ocean kayaking, and 48 per cent want to participate in an ‘extreme’ activity such as white water rafting.
  • What’s more Canadian than a road trip, eh? Looks like Canadians agree with a majority (59%) traveling by car for trips outside of their home province and 90 per cent traveling by car within their home province.

RBC Insurance offers the following tips for Canadian travellers this year:

  • Provide family and friends with a copy of your itinerary. It will help reduce their worries and provide assistance if you get lost or delayed. You should also leave a contact number so they can get a hold of you in case of emergency
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance even if traveling within Canada
  • Tune up your vehicle, secure your property and be sure to label your luggage
  • Ensure you understand what your policy does and does not cover and what other coverages you may have through work or credit cards
  • Look for discounts and promotions as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between April 27 and May 1, 2017 on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,503 Canadians, who intend to travel for at least two nights and at least 100 km from home, from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian travellers who fit this sample universe been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,500 employees who serve more than four million clients globally. For more information, please visit

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For more information, please contact:
Greg Skinner, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-294-5579