Canadian Online Travel Overview Third Edition: 2012-2016

Canadian Online Travel Overview Third Edition: 2012-2016 Published December 2014 Analysts: Douglas Quinby, Karen Burka


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Canadians are passionate about travel. More than three in four Canadian travelers say travel is important to their lifestyles, significantly greater than their U.S. counterparts. Canada's travel market is often – and almost always unfairly – pegged to its neighbor to the south, under the assumption that a shared border and language would result in similar market dynamics. But nothing could be further from the truth. With a landscape far more vast, but a population little more than a tenth of the U.S., Canada's travel market is home to some distinct characteristics.

Phocuswright's Canadian Online Travel Overview Third Edition: 2012-2016 updates previous Canadian travel market sizing and projections through 2016, as Canada emerges from the global recession. The report provides a thorough analysis of consumer behavior, including its influence on the size and shape of the Canadian total and online travel markets.

Key topics include:

  • Sizing of Canada's total and online travel markets, including projections through 2016 and comparisons to other global markets
  • Analysis of the major travel product segments: air, lodging, tour operators, online travel agencies, car rentals, cruises and travel insurance
  • Analysis of consumer online travel behavior, including online bookings, mobile travel research, mobile bookings and reviews
  • The impact of seasonality on Canada's travel market
Purchase Phocuswright's Canadian Online Travel Overview Third Edition: 2012-2016 for insight into this vast and culturally diverse travel marketplace.


Canadian Online Travel Overview Third Edition: 2012-2016 sizes the Canadian travel market by travel companies based in Canada. Phocuswright's estimates and forecasts cover all travel purchased within Canada for domestic, transborder (Canada-U.S.) and outbound international travel, including travel suppliers (i.e., airlines, hotels, car rental companies, tour operators, railways and cruise lines) and online travel sellers.

The size of the Canadian travel market reflects total gross bookings of leisure and unmanaged business travel, in which a business traveler books a trip through a leisure channel. Tour operator gross bookings exclude sales outside of Canada and seat-only sales on charter flights, where possible. The online travel market reflects gross bookings made through supplier websites and OTAs, including the mobile web and apps. OTA gross bookings include sales of travel suppliers not based in Canada. Gross bookings reflect actual reported sales and are not adjusted for inflation. All currency is in Canadian dollars (CAD).

Phocuswright conducted more than 30 in-depth interviews with suppliers, tour operators, OTAs, and other online travel and technology companies to develop insight on key market trends and developments. Market sizing estimates and forecasts are based upon public filings, third-party sources (including Statistics Canada and CLIA), and demand-side projections from the consumer survey (see below) and Experian Marketing Services' Hitwise. Hotel market sizing also includes inputs from HVS, the Hotel Association of Canada and PKF.

Phocuswright collected consumer travel shopping and purchasing behavior from an online survey of 2,028 Canadian leisure travelers. The survey was fielded through Global Market Insite (GMI) and covered the full breadth of travel behavior and technology use, with weighted regional sampling as well as international versus domestic travelers.

Canadian leisure travelers were qualified as follows:

Men and women were equally represented (see Figure 2). The survey provides a fully representative, scientific, random sample. The results are projectable at a 95% confidence level with a 2.18% margin of error.

For regional segmentation analysis, Phocuswright has grouped some smaller provinces into regional groups:

For destination analysis, Phocuswright has grouped Mexico and the Caribbean into a regional category called "South."