Business travel will be down slightly in Ontario but on the rise in the Prairies and British Columbia, according to the Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) just-released 2014 survey results.
The 2014 HAC Canadian Travel Intentions Survey reveals business travel will remain stable in 2014, with 81 per cent of respondents saying they will be travelling the same amount as they did in 2013. The exceptions are Ontario, with a projected four per cent drop over last year’s numbers, and the Prairies and BC, which are expecting a 27 per cent increase in business travel—three per cent more than the national average.
“While business travel numbers remain stable for 2014, there is some worry about the downturn in Ontario,” says Tony Pollard, HAC president. “This information, on the heels of the federal budget cuts to provincial transfer payments is not good news for Ontario properties catering to domestic business travellers.”
Business travel respondents who said they would be traveling less this year cited the price of gas/energy (20 percent) and the cost of air fare (20 per cent) as the top reasons for the reduction. The economy (17 per cent) and the decrease in value of the Canadian dollar (16 per cent) were also given as reasons not to travel.
However, the importance of hotel environmental certification programs such as the HAC Green Key program saw strong increases, climbing 18 per cent over 2013 numbers to 44 per cent of Canadian business travelers.
Other highlights of the survey include:
- Almost one-quarter of business travelers use social media to help them make their hotel selections. On-line testimonials have the most impact on accommodation selection (58 per cent)
- 7o per cent of travelers (up 11 per cent over 2013) use smart phones when travelling
- Smart phones are used for getting in touch with family and friends (52 per cent); checking the weather (48 per cent); getting GPS or other directions (40 per cent); hailing a cab (13 per cent); booking hotels (14 per cent); and buying air, train or bus tickets (seven per cent).
ABOUT THE SURVEY: The tenth annual Canadian Travel Intention Survey was fielded by Opinion Search. It defines a traveler as someone who will stay at least one night in a hotel, motel or resort. The online survey was conducted in the second and third wekks of January 2014 among 1,507 “likely travelers” with a margin of error of +/-2.5 per cent.