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More Canadians traveling outside of the country

September 17, 2012

Even though consumer confidence in Canada has not been steady throughout this year so far, residents are still planning to pack their bags and get out of the country. A recent survey conducted by BMO found 54 percent of Canadians are planning on traveling this fall and 29 percent reported they will be traveling outside of the country.

The trend of Canadians traveling outside of the country started this year, and has been growing ever since. At the end of June, travel had increased by 5.2 percent over the same six months the year prior - resulting in nearly 16 million overnight trips. Nearly two thirds of these outbound trip were to the United States, increasing 8.9 percent in June.

Canada has also seen an increase in inbound travel since the low in 2008 to 2009, but it is not as much the amount of Canadians who have been traveling outside of the country.

"Although a growing number of Canadians have been bitten by the international travel bug, they haven't lost their focus on affordability," said Su McVey, vice president of BMO Bank of Montreal. "We continue to see savvy loyalty rewards collectors use their rewards to upgrade their travel experience or substantially offset their travel costs, especially through non-traditional features such as travel medical insurance; trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance; rental car damage waiver insurance; and through free access to VIP airport lounges; all of which help reduce the cost and worry of out-of-country travel."

When it comes to the most popular destinations, BMO broke up international travel locations and Florida ranked the highest in terms of U.S. travel, with 16 percent with New York taking a close second at 15 percent. In addition, Nevada ranked at 14 percent, and Illinois, California and Massachusetts all came out to 5 percent. Outside the U.S., Mexico earned the top spot with 18 percent. France was second with 10 percent and Cuba third with 8 percent. Then, Europe (unspecified country) got 8 percent and the Caribbean Islands ranked 7 percent.

Those who are considering traveling to Canada can make calls to the country with international calling cards to put more money toward the trip rather than the calls. 

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