Travel search engine KAYAK released its 2019 Travel Trend Forecast which showed that Canadians just might be more adventurous travellers than their American neighbours.
According to KAYAK’s search data, seven of the top 10 most popular destinations that interest Canadian travellers lie beyond the country’s borders, including New Delhi, London and Paris. For American travellers, nine out of the top 10 most popular destinations are within the United States.
The search data also indicated trending destinations like Male, Maldives and Cartagena, Colombia where searches are up 215 per cent and 193 per cent respectively. Americans and Canadians are both drawn to Europe, but one difference is that Canadians show more interest in niche destinations such as Sofia, Dubrovnik and Porto, whereas the obvious places like Rome, Munich and Paris are still what attract Americans.
“When looking at this year’s up and coming cities for both Americans and Canadians, it’s clear that international travel is top of mind. But, our most popular destinations reveal Canadians are actually following through with their international travel plans and turning their fantasies into realities,” says Steve Sintra, Canada Country Manager, KAYAK. “KAYAK’s data also demonstrates how travel trends can differ across the country, which may be influenced by different cultures, geography or a desire to seek something different than what their city has to offer.”
The 2019 Travel Trend Forecast also showed that Canadian travel habits differ depending on where they live:
Vancouverites have a hunger for cultural experiences making Asian cities like Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong popular choices.
Torontonians are the party people of Canada, travelling to cities with boisterous nightlife including Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Paris and Miami.
Montreal residents are the sun-seekers always looking to escape the cold temperatures and warm up in destinations like Cancun, Casablanca and Orlando.
Calgarians are the homebodies and middle-grounders, literally and figuratively. When it comes to travel destinations, Calgarians choose close-to-home North American cities like Toronto, Phoenix, San Francisco and Montreal.
Edmonton residents are the friendly Canadian neighbours, looking to their Western friends in British Columbia for a good time. Popular destinations include Abbotsford, Kelowna and Vancouver.
For the first time since tracking Canadian travel trends, KAYAK has seen more Canadian cities included in the Travel Forecast than ever before. Toronto took the number one spot on KAYAK’s most popular list with cities like Vancouver (#3) and Calgary (#10) also making the cut.
It is also the first time a Canadian city has made an appearance on KAYAK’s list of trending destinations (destinations that have seen the largest increase in searches year over year)- Edmonton snagged the #5 spot with searches up 161 per cent.
Kingston’s favourite sons, The Tragically Hip, have played their last concert in their hometown, but they won’t be the last big thing to come out of this small Ontario city that is bursting with creativity.
Part of that energy is fueled by the young student population of its academic institutions, Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College of Canada, but a lot of it stems from the city’s human scale. Everybody seems to know everybody and they all gather in the city’s charming and compact downtown to share a meal and some drinks and hatch new projects.
That human interaction is one of Kingston’s most potent attractions for visitors. Everyone is made to feel welcome and be part of the community, even if it’s just for one day.
“Give Kingston a chance. Give it a weekend and you will be amazed,” said Claire Bouvier, a local entrepreneur who is one of the co-founders of Kingston fashion truck, The Loft Girls. “There are so many amazing people in this town and, it is a secret, but once you’re here long enough you start to recognize how many incredible people are here.”
One of those people is Eric Brennan, the chef at Le Chien Noir and a force in the city’s up-and-coming food scene that features a surprising number of outstanding restaurants crammed into the city’s historic downtown.
“In the summertime, especially, there’s lot of great places to go in Kingston,” said Brennan “There’s a huge patio scene going around and on the waterfront. I’m a patio hopper, for sure. I like going down the street to our friends at Tango Nuevo, kind of a Spanish tapas place that’s a lot of fun and I like that as much as I like the neighbourhood pub down the street, the Iron Duke on Wellington.”
Another pub worth visiting is Redhouse. Founded by the Reid brothers, Mike, Dave and Dan, it’s a happening spot that features good food, live music and local brews like Stone City and MacKinnon Brothers.
“We are trying to bring in some craft beers, some beers that people weren’t drinking,” said brother Mike, explaining the genesis of the brew pub. “We are getting away from the big, bland brands. We’re getting local, local produce. Everybody from the community were involved to start something new and it worked.”
And if you thought Kingston was a stodgy place that was all about Sir John A. MacDonald and Fort Henry, then you need to spend some time browsing the city’s many art galleries or make a visit to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre located in the heart of the historic campus of Queen’s University.
“Something that people don’t know about Kingston is that there is a large, large art community,” said Jo Perodin, who is an artist at Ink-Tegrity Tattoo Studio that she runs with her husband Max. Kingston also happens to be home to Eikon Devices, one of the country’s best-known manufacturer of tattoo supplies.
“We have multiple tattoo shops here in Kingston, all of us specializing in different styles, different art, different environments,” added Perodin.
Located halfway between Montreal and Toronto and a similar distance from Ottawa, Kingston seems to be the perfect combination of all of those places, but without any of their big-city pretensions. If you’ve only ever stopped on the outskirts of Kingston on the 401 to gas up your car, then you owe it to yourself to drive a few minutes into the downtown to see why it is such a magical place.
Kingston has numerous locally-owned shops that cater to all tastes. Start your explorations on Princess Street.