According to a new poll conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Toyota Canada, nearly half (49%) of Canadians are planning to take a road trip this summer, an increase of almost 10% over last year.
More than three-quarters (76%) of Canadians polled indicated that the pandemic has given them a greater appreciation for the outdoors while two-thirds (65%) feel it has given them a greater appreciation for travel within Canada.
Road trip resurgence
While the majority of Canadians (73%) have had to change their summer vacation plans due to the pandemic, 84% of Canadians plan to stay closer to home than usual. 43% feel this summer could be the perfect time to explore Canada via a road trip (depending on lifting restrictions).
Of those planning a road trip, two-thirds (67%) are opting for a shorter day trip. In fact, 35% of those planning a road trip will be travelling only 4-6 hours away from home.
When restrictions are lifted, those planning a road trip are looking forward to exploring new cities and towns (51%) and spending time with family and friends (43%).
Emphasis on eco-friendly trips
According to the survey, more than half (56%) of Canadians embarking on a road trip this summer are planning to go hiking, while 48% will be walking, running or rollerblading, and 46% plan to sightsee.
Restrictions allowing, almost half (46%) plan to enjoy the outdoors while visiting with friends and family, while 45% plan to picnic and 42% will go camping.
Exploring national or provincial parks is also high on the list of road trip destinations for those planning a trip with 43% planning to visit one this summer.
With their new appreciation for the outdoors – along with greener destinations and activities – Canadians indicated they want the journey itself to be more eco-friendly. More than half (58%) of Canadians would feel better opting for a hybrid vehicle because of the environmental benefits.
While Canadians from coast to coast to coast share a love for the outdoors, there are also some interesting regional highlights when it comes to our road trip preferences:
- Most connected to nature
- Majority stating the pandemic has given them a greater appreciation for the outdoors (85%) and domestic travel (79%).
- Slightly more likely to hit the open road, with 61% planning a road trip this summer.
- 48% of Albertans planning a road trip noted camping would be their preferred outdoor activity.
- Slightly more likely than others to make concessions when it comes to their travel.
- 79% stating the pandemic changed vacation plans and the vast majority (89%) planning to stay closer to home than usual this summer.
Manitoba & Saskatchewan
- 35% willing to drive more than 12 hours from their homes for their vacation.
- 63% say fuel efficiency is the car feature they care about most when taking a summer road trip.
- Open to driving a little farther from their home this summer
- 35% willing to drive 7 or more hours.
- 58% stating the pandemic has caused them to miss driving
- 67% feel that their car is a part of their family.
“It’s not surprising that, over a year into the pandemic, Canadians are more eager than ever to get back behind the wheel and explore our beautiful country as soon as it’s safe to do so,” says Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate at Toyota Canada.
“We are so fortunate to live in a country that has so much to offer in terms of scenic drives and outdoor adventure, and it’s wonderful to see an increased appreciation for the outdoors.”