Photo Credit: NewCa.com

Expedia 2020 Trends in Travel Report: Where Canadian travellers should go in the new year


Tuesday, November 26, 2019 10:39:00 AM

- New report shares growing trends with destinations across Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean. -

(Brand Expedia) - When it comes to analyzing travel trends, Expedia has a leg up. Being one of the world's largest online travel brands means being able to uncover themes across air travel, hotel stays, searches and bookings, even experiences – all in the pursuit of arming Canadian travellers with everything they need to travel smarter in 2020. And today the results are in – from European cities dominating the new destinations to watch, to inspiration on where to explore at home, as well as options for relocating to a beach this winter, the full 2020 Trends in Travel Report unpacks the fastest-growing destinations around the world, all based on real traveller data.

European cities dominate the new top ten

It's time to start planning and updating bucket lists. The below countries each had three or more cities that appeared on the list of fastest-growing destinations, based on flight demand for Canadian travellers. Data shows Canadians are racking up the international miles to Europe, with 6 out of the 10 countries on the list located in that part of the world:

1. Spain & Canary Islands –This European locale boasts a whopping 5 trending cities, but they're far from the usual suspects. Barcelona and Madrid were downright eclipsed by beachy Mallorca, and architecture centre Bilbao, located in the northern Basque region of the country.
Where to go: Palma de Mallorca (+73%), Seville (+29%), Valencia (+20%), Malaga (+13%), Bilbao (+10%)
2. Germany – Germany is often known for its annual Oktoberfest celebrations, beer, sausages, soccer and fast cars driving down the Autobahn; however, it's also a great spot for history buffs.
Where to go: Cologne (+88%), Hannover (+27%), Berlin (+21%), Munich (+17%), Dusseldorf (+16%)
3.Japan – All eyes will be on Tokyo next summer, but Expedia data shows that interest in the country has already picked up, and it's not just centered around Japan's largest city. Stray off the beaten path to taste Osaka's food scene or experience Sapporo's famous Snow Festival.
Where to go: Sapporo (+70%), Tokyo (+53%), Fukuoka (+50%), Osaka (24%)
4. Italy – While Florence, Venice, Rome and the Amalfi Coast are popular spots in Italy, this year's trends are determined to prove that these aren't the only places worth seeing in Italy.
Where to go: Palermo (+102%), Catania (+64%), Milan (+43%), Naples (+22%), Florence (+5%)
5. Thailand – For those looking for a longer-haul flight, consider adding Thailand to the list, which had three trending cities this year. Take in the hustle and bustle of the market streets or escape the Canadian winter on a remote beach on one of the many islands.
Where to go: Phuket (+23%), Chiang Mai (+21%), Bangkok (+20%)
6. Mexico – It probably comes as no surprise that Canadians are going to Mexico in droves, given it is relatively close-by, affordable and offers top-notch food and beaches. While spots like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta maintain their popularity, Mexico's hidden gem beaches and culture-rich cities are officially having a moment as well.
Where to go: Cancun (+56%), Oaxaca (+20%), San Jose del Cabo (+18%), Veracruz (+18%), Queretaro (+15%), Puerto Vallarta (+12%)
7. Portugal – Portugal might be the most predictable destination on the list this year, but just like Croatia before it, the demand shows no signs of letting up. With Portugal's temptation of castles, beaches, great food and rich history, it's time to jump on the bandwagon.
here to go: Funchal (+47%), Ponta Delgada (+17%), Faro (+16%)
8. India – The cities seeing the biggest year-over-year growth in India tell a story of leisure and industry. India had the most trending cities amongst the top ten countries, with a total of seven spots to explore.
Where to go: Ahmedabad (+195%), Kolkata (+113%), Kochi (+100%), Chennai (+94%), Delhi (+66%), Bengaluru (+54%), Mumbai (+54%)
9. Switzerland – If looking for a mix of the outdoors and an urban centre, then look no further. From exploring the alps, to taking into the architectural rich cities, Switzerland is a great option that gives travellers the best of both worlds.
Where to go: Zurich (+24%), Basel (+20%), Geneva (+8%)
10. Poland – Eastern Europe is full of unique charm and Poland is no exception. From perogies, to historic cities, to fresh lakes and small villages, this is the perfect taste of eastern Europe and a great place to dip your toe.
Where to go: Katowice (+21%), Poznan (+12%), Warsaw (+9%)

The prairies, west and north are trending across Canada

Canadian cities in the prairies, western provinces and the northern territories are all trending, so expect to see more of them in the new year. Interestingly, all of the top ten destinations listed have close proximity to the outdoors, making them great jumping off points for those looking for an adventure focused trip.

- Edmonton, Alberta (+221%); Winnipeg, Manitoba (+190%); Calgary, Alberta (+180%); Vancouver, British Columbia (+155%); Lethbridge, Alberta (+120%); Kamloops, British Columbia (+96%); Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (+81%); Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (+81%); Regina, Saskatchewan (+58%); Whitehorse, Yukon (+50%)

Beach escapes to soak in that vitamin D

The 2020 Trends in Travel report proves the Caribbean and Mexico remain as go-to destinations for Canadians in search of a warm beach vacation closer to home. Often the hardest part about planning a beach escape is narrowing down where to go. Whether it's authentic island culture or quiet uncrowded beaches, the below ten spots are up-and-coming destinations, based on hotel demand.

- Oranjestad, Aruba (+98%); Sayulita, Mexico (+69%); Gros Islet, St. Lucia (+63%); Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (+61%); Rockley, Barbados (+54%); Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (+51%); Noord, Aruba (+44%); Placencia, Belize (+41%); Willemstad, Curacao (+38%); St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands (+35%)

Things to do: Theme Parks, Shows and High-Up Views

Activities and attractions are more than just an add-on to a trip. Often, they're one of the top considerations when travellers are choosing their destination and accommodations, and purchasing the tickets ahead of time makes trip planning easier. So, plan those experiences in 2020 and try something different. For some inspiration, here are some of the top activities for Canadians booked on Expedia:

- Universal Studios Hollywood admission (+141%); The High Roller Observation Wheel in Las Vegas, admission tickets (+47%); Capilano Suspension Bridge park tickets (+180%); Colosseum & Forum Tour tickets (+96%); and tickets to experience the Mystere, Cirque du Soleil show at Treasure Island in Las Vegas (+30%).