Recently, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada asked Canadians to take the 2021 Tourism Pledge to travel domestically once restrictions were lifted. According to a report by Destination Canada, if two-thirds of Canadians followed suit and shifted their planned international holiday expenditures towards domestic tourism, it would make up for the estimated $19 billion shortfall currently facing the visitor economy. That’s in addition to helping sustain 150,000 jobs while accelerating the recovery of the travel and tourism sector by one year.
“Now is the time for Canadians to support local,” suggests Darcie Guarderas, director of business development and operations at Anderson Vacations. “Spend your money closer to home and revitalize our own tourism economy. Local businesses need you and without international visitors, there has never been a better time to explore your own backyard!”
For those searching for inspiration for the summer, she notes that Anderson Vacations offers some self-drive options that are extremely popular this year in particular.
“They offers guests the opportunity to explore on their own but with all of the arrangements taken care of,” she explains. “This includes the car rental, accommodations and all kinds of attractions. And we make it easy for our agency partners by putting this all together for them. Agents just need to qualify their clients and we do the rest!”
Meanwhile, the top selling fully escorted small group tour for the company is the Maritime Mosaic, “a comprehensive tour of Atlantic Canada, and this year is no different. Our fall departure is extremely popular and we expect it to sell out once again.”
For those searching for off-the-beaten-path vacation ideas, she suggests going North.
“From our 9-day Inuit Land and Road to the Arctic tour, to our amazing Yukon itineraries, Churchill packages and Northern light tours, we have it all,” she says. “For those looking for a culinary twist we also have a very unique tour in British Columbia called Delicious Vancouver Island. This tour has the very best of what the island has to offer, including visits to wineries, a cidery, foodie tours and much more.”
An avid traveller, next month Guarderas is crossing off the two final provinces she has yet to see: New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
“I have been so blessed to travel our gorgeous country from coast to coast to coast,” she says. “Atlantic Canada is magical with it’s warm, kind people and amazing seafood, but I am also a Northern girl with a big part of my heart in the Yukon. I just can’t pick one favourite!”
As for Canadian bookings, Valente Travel’s Lisa Tetzlaff is finding that travel out West is doing well for the Windsor-based agency.
“Most of the passengers I have been booking are travelling to Alberta and British Columbia, doing either a city stay or something more adventurous in one of the National Parks,” she says. “I also have a booking for Rocky Mountaineer.”