Number of Canadians visiting the EU will soar this year, tour operators say

Canadians are returning to Europe in droves as an insurance company recently revealed that travel insurance quotes for European destinations have jumped almost 2,000% since last year.

According to a study by RATESDOTCA, the United Kingdom was the most popular destination for Canadians, as the increase in travel quotes showed an increase of 1832% during the first quarter of 2022, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

Portugal follows this example, with a 1727% increase in 2022, while France has recorded a 632% increase in travel quotes. However, the largest increase seen was 2,933% for Italian destinations, while the number of Canadians registered in Spain jumped 1,344%.

This surge can be attributed to the fact that many European countries have lifted travel restrictions, allowing Canadians to travel to the EU without entry and travel restrictions.

“Some places have suffered from the lack of tourism over the past couple of years. As things reopen, you will find plenty of travel deals,” RATESDOTCA expert Tanisha Kishan said.

As the study shows, all age groups from the Silent Generation to Gen Z are more interested in traveling this year than they were a year ago. The latter led with a 1,608% increase, while Millennials’ 702% increase made them the generation least likely to book travel.

According to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), nearly 122,000 people passed through the country’s eight largest airports on May 15, 2022, especially compared to 13,202 travelers registered on the same day in 2021. Increased travel marks the start of a recovery for the pandemic-ravaged travel and tourism industry, RATESDOTCA noted.

However, pre-pandemic data from Statistics Canada shows that France is the main European country most visited by Canadians. More specifically, in 2016, one million visits were recorded, with 12.3 million overnight stays. According to expenditures, Canadians paid $1.3 billion for services provided in France. Other countries to follow on this list are Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland.

However, travel during the pandemic has changed for Canadians, as the number of international tourists to Canada has dropped significantly. With 32.44 million tourists registered in 2019, the rate fell to just 5.07 million in 2020 for a further drop to 4.28 million in 2021.

This means that the number of tourists to Canada has fallen by 84% in 2020 and by almost 87% compared to 2021. The numbers have never been lower, not even compared to ten years ago, when 25 .1 million tourists visited Canada.