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Canadians plan summer travel despite economic pressures

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Despite economic challenges, Canadians are eagerly planning summer trips, with an average spending of $2,405 on transportation and lodging, according to a new survey.

Deloitte Canada's first Summer Travel Outlook reveals the majority of Canadians are planning to travel this summer and significant number (74 per cent) of travelers intend to stay within Canada, highlighting a strong preference for domestic tourism.

"The travel sector can expect growth, even with price-sensitive consumers. Canadians are keen to explore local destinations, from lakeside retreats to urban adventures," says Leslie Peterson of Deloitte Canada.

Jessie Mancini, a self-employed hairstylist, embodies this trend. She is choosing to camp with her family instead of taking a more expensive vacation.

"You have to adapt. You definitely want to still have a little bit of fun living life, but instead of going to Florida, we've decided to do camping excursions," she says. "We go to Mal's Camping in Lanark, it's 45 minutes from our home and a great way to decompress on weekends. It's great to see the kids laughing and playing. They have activities, movie nights, corn roasts, fire pits, people play their music; it's honestly a great time."

Camping remains a popular choice, with most Canadians favoring short jaunts and day trips. For those unsure how to plan their adventure, Jennifer Sloan offers a unique opportunity to discover the Ottawa region and beyond, with Unexpected Journeys.

Sloan says more than 3,000 groups have ordered the Unexpected Journey package, which costs $60 each and guides travelers through a variety of different locations, like cozy cafes, bustling towns, and Indigenous landmarks.

"So far I've created 11 surprise self-guided journeys and they lead you to five surprise outdoor stops and lots and lots of optional things to see and do along the way," says Sloan. "The journeys can be tailored. Maybe you want to head to a vineyard, maybe you want to go shopping; and every package comes with a list of recommended accommodations in the area, so if you want to extend your journey and make it an overnight trip, you can do that too. People want something that doesn't cost a lot of money or take them too far."

Canadians are also eager to support locally-owned establishments, like Kelly's Landing in Manotick, along the Rideau River, which caters to boaters as well. "You can't beat the view, we're really one of the only restaurants right on the river," says manager Vicky. "We get a lot of houseboats coming down from places like Smiths Falls or even Peterborough, and come July we get a lot of Quebec boat traffic." 

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