Europe’s charm attracting more Canadian visitors, but Vegas and The Big Apple remain favourites

CANADA - When it comes to travel destinations, what cities do Canadian travellers flock to? Glasgow, Scotland? Sydney, Australia? Buenos Aires, Argentina? Mexico City, Mexico? Johannesburg, South Africa? Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates? Shanghai, China? All great cities with some phenomenal sights and attractions, but they apparently don’t hold a candle to Anaheim, California; Newark, New Jersey; and some little place called Toronto, Canada.



Hotels.com™ released its most recent list of most popular international and domestic travel destinations for Canadians…and yes…Anaheim is on the list. Ducks/Angels fans attending hockey/baseball games? Oh, wait…it’s probably because there’s a popular amusement park called Disneyland there.

Newark has the New Jersey Devils, so we understand the hockey connection, and there are apparently 4,300 cherry trees in the city, but otherwise this seems like a “WTF?!?” kind of thing. Then again, Atlantic City is in the midst of a financial crisis and high unemployment, and frankly, if Canadians wanted to see that, they would have stayed home.

Why Toronto? Well, visiting Toronto is on every Canadian’s Bucket List of ‘Things To Do Before I Die’. Also, if you’re coming from Mississauga, or anyplace west of it, and you’re going to Ottawa, Montreal or beyond…you have to pass through Toronto. If you’re coming from Pickering, or anyplace east of it, and you’re going to Niagara Falls, Winnipeg, or beyond…you have to pass through Toronto. Toronto is at the centre of the Canadian universe.

OK, OK, OK. You don’t have to pass through Toronto (if you don’t want to). You can always take the scenic route and drive north of the city; cross the border and drive the I-70, I-74, I-80, I-87, I-88, I-89, I-90, I-94, or the I-29; or you could fly.

Still, Toronto is the #1 domestic destination for Canadians. We’ll put our money people on visiting the CN Tower. It can’t be because of the Leafs.

Anyways, we’re off topic. Travel destinations.
 
Unchanged is our love of New York City and Las Vegas, which remain #1 and #2, respectively. Europe is where it’s at, though. Four European cities have risen in the ranks of top international picks for Canucks, and two have risen enough to bump Orlando, Florida (another city with an amusement park, this one called Disney World) to #5 on the list. Mon Dieu! Blimey! What cities would those be?

Most Popular International Cities for Canadian Travellers (followed by the change in their 2014 vs. 2013 rank)

  1. New York City, New York (no change)
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada (no change)
  3. London, England (+2)
  4. Paris, France (+6)
  5. Orlando, Florida (-2)
  6. Chicago, Illinois (+1)
  7. Seattle, Washington (-3)
  8. Los Angeles, California (+1)
  9. San Francisco, California (-1)
  10. Boston, Massachusetts (-4)
  11. Rome, Italy (+2)
  12. San Diego, California (-1)
  13. Newark, New Jersey (-1)
  14. Miami, Florida (no change)
  15. Hong Kong, Hong Kong (+1)
  16. Barcelona, Spain (+4)
  17. Portland, Oregon (+2)
  18. Washington, District of Columbia (no change)
  19. Tokyo, Japan (+5, new to list)
  20. Anaheim, California (+2, new to list)


Canadians still love the USA, especially the Golden State (that’s California, in case you were wondering).

But Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for Hotels.com did have this to say: "European cities have always had a strong appeal among Canadians who appreciate how easy it is to travel between countries. We're seeing that interest continuing to increase as travellers seek out destinations rich in history and culture."

Within Canada, the top three most visited cities by Canadians remained the same, although changes were seen further down the list. 

Most Popular Domestic Cities for Canadian Travellers (followed by the change in their 2014 vs. 2013 rank)

  1. Toronto, Ontario (no change)
  2. Montréal, Québec (no change)
  3. Vancouver, British Columbia (no change)
  4. Edmonton, Alberta (+1)
  5. Calgary, Alberta (+2)
  6. Niagara Falls, Ontario (-2)
  7. Ottawa, Ontario (-1)
  8. Québec City, Québec (no change)
  9. Victoria, British Columbia (no change)
  10. Winnipeg, Manitoba (+1)
  11. Banff, Alberta (-1)
  12. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (no change)
  13. London, Ontario (+2)
  14. Whistler, British Columbia (+1)
  15. Halifax, Nova Scotia (-1)
  16. Kelowna, British Columbia (no change)
  17. Regina, Saskatchewan (no change)
  18. Canmore, Alberta (no change)
  19. Kamloops, British Columbia (+1)
  20. Kingston, Ontario (-1)


BC and Ontario are still the fave provinces to visit, yet the Great White North has incredible places to visit in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Hell, the BC interior is breathtaking; northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg are true wonderlands; Ontario has so many jewels in its northern crown it makes Queen Elizabeth’s crown look blah; Québec is so more than just Montréal and Québec City; and the Atlantic provinces have their own treasures.

As it stands, though, when it comes to our Home and Native Land, we’re creatures of habit. We stick to the major cities, and a few of the smaller ones, as our domestic destinations.

When it comes to temporarily leaving the second largest country in the world, the world itself is an oyster to Canadians, with lots of pearls to visit.

Spring is just around the corner, and you know the place to go then…la belle ville de Paris!!

TOP PHOTO: Canadians continue to fall in love with Paris, as the city became the fourth most visited international destination in 2014 (courtesy of Hotels.com)

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