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Prepare for another hot season of summer road trips

Seventy-six per cent of Canadians feel the pandemic generated a new appreciation for the great outdoors, while 65% are re-discovering the joy of travel within the country, according to a new poll conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Toyota Canada.

The poll found that, when travel is permitted, 49% of Canadians are planning to take a road trip this summer—up nearly 10% over the same period in 2020. And while 73% of respondents had to change their summer vacation plans due to the pandemic, and 84% plan to stay closer to home than usual, 43% feel this summer presents the perfect opportunity to explore the country by taking a road trip.

“It’s not surprising that, over a year into the pandemic, Canadians are more eager than ever to get back behind the wheel and explore our beautiful country as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said Stephen Beatty, Vice President of Corporate at Toyota Canada.

Of those planning a road trip, 67% are opting for a shorter day trip. Specifically, 35% of Canadians planning a road trip will be travelling only four to six hours away from home. But when restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, those planning a road trip will be exploring new cities and towns (51%) and spending time with family and friends (43%).

However, 75% of Canadians also plan to wear a mask in public as an added safety measure,  and many will be opting for more remote locations like campsites (37%) or cabins, chalets and cottages (34%). Many would also feel better choosing a more environmentally-friendly vehicle, compared to a gasoline or diesel one.

“With their new appreciation for the outdoors—along with greener destinations and activities—Canadians indicated they want the journey itself to be more eco-friendly,” said Toyota Canada in a news release. “More than half (58%) of Canadians would feel better opting for a hybrid vehicle because of the environmental benefits.”

As for the provincial breakdown, Toyota said 35% of Ontario residents are willing to drive seven or more hours from home this summer, and 35% residents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are willing to drive more than 12 hours from their homes for their vacation. Nearly two-thirds (63%) also said fuel efficiency is the car feature they care most about for road trips.

As for Quebec, 58% said they miss driving and 67% feel their car is a part of their family.

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