International travel deficit. It sounds economic and high-brow, but all it really means in 2016 is that more Canadians are choosing to travel outside the border of the true north strong and free, than inside it. And it isn’t for lack of beauty, adventure, culture, cuisine or variety. Anyone who’s been to the parks in Alberta or seen a whale breach the water’s surface in Nova Scotia knows this. So why do Canadians, specifically millennials, choose to travel elsewhere?
First things first, what is a millennial? It’s a term that’s tossed around in every other news piece you see today from Buzzfeed lists to the New York Times. Canada’s Millennial Domestic Travel Summary Report defines the nation’s domestic millennial travel segment as “Canadians in the 18-to-34 age group traveling for leisure, visiting family and friends, and other purposes not related to full-time work or study.”
An office full of “millennials” will be quick to tell you, they would love nothing more than to scale the many hiking trails of Banff, or try the country’s alleged best sushi in Vancouver, but ticket prices are preventing them from doing so. Train, plane or automobile, it’s going to hit your wallet just as hard as flying internationally would, so “why not go big with Europe or Asia” wins out almost every time.
Others say it’s because they enjoy the exotic nature of international travel, learning a new language or swimming in turquoise waters. The thing is, we have vast multicultural pockets (shout-out Toronto), plenty of places to walk cobblestone streets and hear a foreign tongue (Old Montreal) and water so clear you could see a nickel on the bay floor up on the Bruce Peninsula, albeit quite a bit colder.
Endless statistics will tell you the reasons why, how and when millennials in Canada travel but we’d like to challenge this adventurous group to think outside the box by staying within it. Turning 150 year’s old next year, 2017 might just be the perfect time to plan the great Canadian Road Trip. Plus we’re #blessed with so much physical landscape to explore that there should be more than enough to occupy our millennial attention spans.