The Canadian government just issued terror warnings for 9 European countries

As the summer travel season in Europe heats up, the Government of Canada has issued a series of travel advisories for select countries in Europe, due to potential acts of terrorism.

The threat of terrorism in Europe remains ongoing, and attacks can happen anywhere at any time, though government buildings, including schools, places of worship, airports, and other major tourist attractions like shopping malls, restaurants or public squares can be more likely targets.

Canadian travellers to Europe this summer are urged to exercise a high degree of caution in the following countries:

Belgium

As of June 4, travellers to Belgium are urged to exercise a high degree of caution due to ongoing threats of terrorism. While petty crime (purse snatchings, pick-pocketing, etc.) remains quite common in tourist areas, there has been an increase in violence, including stabbings and shootings, linked to the drug trade in Brussels and other major cities.

In February 2024, reported shootings have occurred in the commune of Brussels, in the Marolles neighbourhood, and around the following locations in the commune Saint-Gilles: Port-de-Hal, Gare du Midi, and Place Jacques Franck.

The Government of Canada reports that in Belgium, separate attacks causing multiple deaths and injuries have taken place, and that further attacks in Belgium cannot be ruled out. The Government of Belgium maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates threat level changes online and through local media and social media.

If you plan to travel to Belgium during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to Belgium, click here.

Denmark

Denmark has been experiencing a heightened threat of terrorism since the beginning of August 2023, after multiple incidents of public desecration of the Qur’an in Denmark. Since then, extremists have called for retaliation against the country.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service currently assesses the threat of a terrorist attack at level 4 (significant) on a 5-step scale.

Organized crime, including drug trade and gang violence has also been recently reported in the area of Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen. Christiana is a commune in the Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen that is known to openly sell cannabis, which remains illegal in Denmark. Photography is strictly prohibited, and tourists have been victim to assaults and robbery for failing to respect the rule.

If you plan to travel to Denmark during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to Denmark, click here.

France

As of June 11, travellers to France are urged to exercise a high degree of caution, especially with the Olympic Games taking place in Paris from July 26 to Aug. 11, followed by the Paralympic Games from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, 2024.

Public events will take place across France starting on May 8 and will continue until the opening ceremony. During the Olympic Games, France will have an increased presence of security forces and large crowds and public gatherings should be expected. Major disruptions to traffic and the flow of movement should also be expected.

If you plan to travel to France during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to France, click here.

Germany

The Canadian government increased Germany’s security risk as of June 4, citing concerns around the UEFA EURO 2024 soccer tournament, which takes place from June 14 to July 14, 2024. Games will take place in 10 cities across the country.

Crime, such as theft, typically increases around major sporting events. Thieves often target tourists. Post-game celebrations and confrontations between opposing fans may lead to rowdy behaviour.

The Government of Germany maintains a public alert system on terrorism. Alert level changes are communicated through local media. Violent crime is quite uncommon in Germany, but crimes committed by far-right extremists against individuals belonging to ethnic, religious or political minorities due occur, and tourists are advised to take caution.

If you plan to travel to Germany during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to Germany, click here.

Italy

As of June 4, the Government of Canada is advising Canadians to take extra security measures when visiting Italy, due to terror-related threats. As one of the most popular summer travel destinations for Canadians, large numbers are expected this season.

The Government of Italy maintains a public alert system on terrorism. Alert level changes are communicated mainly through local media. Enhanced security measures are also deployed in various strategic locations and transport hubs.

Travellers to Italy should expect an increased presence of police and military forces during holidays and in public places, including tourist locations and major landmarks. Upcoming public holidays in Italy include Ferragosto, which takes place on Aug. 15 and is observed across Italy.

If you plan to travel to Italy during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to Italy, click here.

The Netherlands

The Government of Canada increased its risk level for travel to the Netherlands over ongoing threats of terrorism in the country.

The Dutch government maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates threat level changes online and through local media. The current threat level for the Netherlands is level 4 (“substantial”) on a scale of 5. A level 4 rating means that “there is a real chance of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands” according to The Terrorist Threat Assessment Netherlands.

If you plan to travel to the Netherlands during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to the Netherlands, click here.

Spain

In Spain, terrorist attacks causing deaths and injuries have taken place. The government of Canada insists that further attacks in Spain cannot be ruled out.

The Spanish government maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates threat level changes online and through local media. The current threat level for Spain is level 4 (“high”) on a scale of 5.

If you plan to travel to Spain during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to the Spain, click here.

Sweden

Since the beginning of 2023, there has been an increase in incidents of public desecration of the Qur’an in Stockholm.

On Aug. 17, 2023, the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) raised the national terrorist threat level from 3 (elevated) to 4 (high) on a 5-step scale. The decision is based on an assessment that the threat posed by violent extremists has increased and will remain heightened.

The Government of Sweden maintains a public alert system on terrorism. The Government communicates threat level changes online and through local media.

If you plan to travel to Sweden during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to the Sweden, click here.

The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, previous attacks have resulted in casualties. They have included random violent incidents in public areas, such as knife and vehicle attacks as well as explosions.

These incidents have occurred mainly in the London area but have also happened elsewhere. One of the most notable terror attacks was the London Bridge van attack on June 3, 2017. Eight people were killed and 48 were injured in a terrorist vehicle-ramming incident on the London Bridge.

According to the Canadian government, further attacks in the United Kingdom are likely.

The Government of the United Kingdom maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates terrorism and national emergency threat level changes online and through local media. The national terrorism and national emergency threat level is currently 3 (“substantial”) on a scale of 5. A separate threat level for Northern Ireland is currently 4 (“severe”) on a scale of 5.

If you plan to travel to the U.K. during this time, plan your travel accordingly. For more information, including safety tips on travelling to the U.K., click here.

Air Canada offering free wine & beer on North American flights

Air Canada is introducing premium complimentary snacks, featuring homegrown Canadian favourites, to all customers on all flights.

The airline is also expanding its complimentary beer and wine offering to customers on flights within Canada and the U.S., alongside a selection of $5 spirits, through the end of this year.

Complimentary premium snacks are now offered to Economy customers on all Air Canada flights.

Whether travelling in Canada or across the globe, all customers on all flights can enjoy free sweet or savoury bites, including two Canadian favourites: buttery herb and garlic pretzels from Alberta’s family-owned and female-led TWIGZ, and Quebec-based Leclerc’s Célébration Cookie, a crafted sweet treat made with real milk chocolate and butter.

Free wine & beer on board

Air Canada has also extended its complimentary beer and wine offering to Economy customers flying within Canada and the U.S. just in time for summer, and through to the end of this year.

This adds to the existing complimentary offering in all International Economy and Premium cabins. Beer, wine and spirits remain available for purchase from the Air Canada Bistro menu on Economy flights to and from the Caribbean and Mexico.

Customers will enjoy a curated selection of exceptional beers, French wines, and customer favourite spirits. Featured flavour-forward craft beers include Hop Valley and Creemore Springs Premium Lager, as well as crisp and refreshing Molson Canadian and Coors Light. Two French wines from Paul Mas include a robust red or a fresh, dry white.

For cocktail aficionados, $5 spirits on offer include Baileys Original Irish Cream, Canadian Club rye, Bacardi Superior rum, Bombay Sapphire gin, Smirnoff vodka, Tromba Tequila Blanco, or Campari. There’s something everyone can cheers to with the largest bar offering of any airline in North America.

Additional information on Air Canada’s new drinks and premium snacks, and more, is available at: aircanada.com/bonappetit

According to this survey, Canadians are spending large this summer

Sky-high costs and ongoing economic pressures aren’t dampening the mood this summer season.

According to the 2024 summer travel outlook: Canadian destinations in the spotlight, Canadians are eagerly making travel plans and are ready to get away and make up for missed travel time.

Overall, consumers plan to spend an average of $2,405 on transportation and lodging costs for their major summer trip, with three in four (74 per cent) planning to stay in the country and experience the very best it has to offer.

Canadian travel trends revealed

The report explores the travel trends of Canadians as they prepare for the summer travel season, and their impact on the tourism sector in Canada. Some of the key findings include:

  • Travellers from Central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) will spend more than those from the rest of the country ($2,459 on average).
  • Around three in four Canadians (74%) plan to stay in the country for their big summer vacation—and most plan to stay within their home region rather than make long treks.
  • The ‘shop small and local’ trend continues to shape tourism across Canada: Canadians want to support local, independent, and family-owned businesses (79%) rather than chains, multinationals, big box retailers, and large corporations (21%).
  • Prince Edward Island is expected to see the largest share of visitors from outside its region, with 78 per cent of its visitors coming from Central or Western/Northern Canada.

Canadians crave Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) travel experiences, such as cultural workshops and traditional lodgings. The report shows Indigenous-owned and -operated tourism is gaining traction, driving opportunities for Indigenous tourism businesses and communities.

Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians are likely to take part in those experiences in the future, Gen Zs (75%) and Millennials (68%) being the most eager to participate. Indigenous tourism organizations would benefit from partnering with national and provincial governments to raise further awareness and offer new experiences to travellers.

Gen Z spending the least on trips

While Gen Xs plan to spend the most on travel this year ($2,671), Gen Zs intend to spend the least ($2,100). The report also shows Gen Zs and Millennials are the biggest fans of sustainable and regenerative tourism, saying it’s important that their travel destinations and experiences demonstrate environmental sustainability in some form, such as low carbon footprints, renewable energy sources, and EV charging stations.

They are the most willing to participate in such travel experiences, and the most willing to pay for them.

“The demand for sustainable and regenerative travel is gaining momentum, but not all Canadians are willing to pay the price to help leave a place better than they found it,” adds Leslie Peterson. “Tourism businesses that can overcome greenwashing-related skepticism and explain the lasting value of sustainable travel by backing up claims with facts will foster trust in eco-friendly tourism offerings and position themselves at the leading edge of this burgeoning trend.”

Learn more about the 2024 Canadian Summer Travel Outlook here.

Hotels.com has a new program that lets you browse top 1%

Hotels.com has unveiled “Perfect Somewheres” 2024, a first-of-its-kind program celebrating a selection of the top 1% of hotels on the Hotels.com app.

Unlike other travel awards, Hotels.com Perfect Somewheres are based on a data-driven approach evaluating how hotels treat guests, with nearly 200 American hotels recognized on the list. Winning hotels were selected based on proprietary guest experience data, which factors in traveler reviews, interactions with staff and ratings on property facilities, and condition.

Select winning hotels are VIP Access partners, meaning they offer additional perks to members to elevate traveler stays.

Travellers should use this curated list as the go-to authority when searching for the best possible hotel experience.

“Perfect Somewheres 2024 recognizes the hotel industry’s creme de la creme,” said Expedia Group’s SVP of global communications, Lauri Metrose. “Most programs use only reviews, or focus solely on luxury — our new awards program spotlights hotels that craft extraordinary experiences and elevate the travel journey for our guests, regardless of the number of stars. This program fuels a powerful partnership: We showcase our partners’ excellence, and together, we connect travellers with their perfect somewhere. We look forward to these awards becoming a benchmark for excellence in hospitality.”

Narrowing down the choice

Research conducted by Hotels.com found that more than half (55%) of travellers admit to suffering from “vacation choice paralysis,” caused by too many options when deciding where to stay.

A quarter (27%) spend more than 10 hours researching which hotel to stay at, and 28% have given up altogether due to how time-consuming it became. Hotels.com’s awards aim to solve this issue for travelers.

Almost half (49%) of travelers are more likely, now than ever before, to use a credible hotel-grading program to source their stays. This list from the top 1% of properties acts as a one-stop shop for Hotels.com’s best properties across the globe.

Standout stays for 2024

From hidden gems to world-renowned destinations, these hotels are just a few properties representing the 700 that display the pinnacle of hospitality excellence across the globe in 2024:

Hotel Chapter Roma in Rome, Italy takes service above and beyond. The hotel offers services like a bespoke night out hosted by a nightlight editor, local market trips and dietary-friendly cooking lessons with their executive chef. Their services establish the hotel as an essential part of a guest’s experience in Rome, even upon return visits.

The Palmaïa House of Aïa in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico takes every angle of wellness into account at this all-inclusive retreat, including custom built nutrition plans, breath work classes, sauna/ice bath contrast therapy, yoga and meditation classes, energy healing and reiki, and an onsite shaman for ceremonies and spiritual wellness.

Four Seasons Resort Koh Sumai in Koh Sumai, Thailand not only is set to be one of the filming locations for the newest season of “”The White Lotus, but this hotel’s beautiful beaches are about to be a prime destination for set-jetters. The hotel offers every kind of beach activity and provides easy access to nearby diving reefs.

Hotel das Cataratas in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil with the perfect view as it is the only hotel within the Iguaza Falls National Park. While all other park visitors must adhere to the strict 9-5 opening hours, hotel guests get up to six additional hours of freedom to explore as well as private views of the falls from the property.

Ohla Barcelona in the historical center of Barcelona, Spain has an experience team that contacts guests before their arrival to offer them a menu of sheets, pillows of varying firmness, and bedding scents for free. Additional services include a bath butler and personal shopper.

Fingal – A Luxury Floating Hotel, located on Edinburgh’s waterfront in Scotland, this former lighthouse tender is now a 22-cabin boutique floating hotel. Its renovations have preserved historical design details from 1963, making it a destination for vessel-heads.

The Prospect Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, United States, where each Martyn Lawrence Bullard designed room was inspired by the property’s Hollywood history and former neighborhood residents. Bullard brings each room to new life with a Hollywood Regency foundation incorporating custom furnishings and vintage accents.

To book or browse the full list of Perfect Somewheres, click here.

Hyatt is opening more than 30 hotels in Latin America

World of Hyatt guests and members will soon have more than 30 new hotels to consider in Latin America & the Caribbean.

Through 2027, Hyatt is committed to expanding its brand presence in new and exciting destinations throughout the region.

The Destination by Hyatt brand is a diverse collection of independent hotels, resorts and residences that offers one-of-a-kind experiences around the globe with stays that are authentic to their destination.

The brand is expanding its footprint in Latin America & the Caribbean with the introduction of properties in two new markets:

  • The Legend Paracas Resort (Peru, expected to open in summer 2024): The resort, located on the coast of Peru about three hours south of Lima, is expected to join the Destination by Hyatt brand this summer amid a phased enhancement project focused on elevating guestrooms and common areas. Guests will have endless opportunities to discover the Paracas Natural Reserve or Paracas Bay with a range of curated experiences such as kayaking, paddleboarding, sandboarding, and more.
  • Cas En Bas Beach Resort (St. Lucia, expected to open in early 2025): Nestled on the northern tip of St. Lucia, and idyllically situated between two 18-hole championship golf courses and a stunning white sand beach, the resort will provide a secluded, elevated luxury escape. The resort is expected to open in early 2025 with contemporary residential-style studios, and one- and two-bedroom suites.

With 10 all-inclusive brands providing endless hospitality through well-appointed accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet a la carte dining, and thoughtful touches, Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection portfolio continues to expand in new and existing destinations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean in 2023 and 2024.

New hotels coming soon

Dreams Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino adults-only expansion (expected to debut 2024): Expected to debut on July 1, Dreams Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino will open an all-new adult-only preferred club section to complement the existing family-friendly offerings. The 53 modern-designed standalone units, titled ‘IL MARE’, embrace next-generation architecture with modern interior design to create a first-of-its-kind luxury beachfront experience overlooking Piscadera Bay, with amenities such as thoughtfully appointed custom crafted furniture, a bathroom with two vanities, an indoor sitting area, and an oversized oceanfront terrace with direct beach access.

Dreams Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort family-friendly expansion (expected to open in summer 2024): Located adjacent to the existing Dreams Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort, this new section will add 58 additional rooms, a new restaurant, and three new pools, including a dedicated pool for children with a pirate ship, a pool with water slides, and an adults-only pool.

Dreams Sapphire Resort & Spa family-friendly expansion (expected to open in 2024): The new expansion of this resort will add new private luxury villas and a new event space, dining experiences and separate building that will feature a rooftop with breathtaking views, a bar, sushi bar, infinity pool and venue to host memorable weddings, along with premium room categories.

Secrets Playa Esmeralda Punta Cana (expected to open in 2024): Designed with the adults-only concept in mind, this intimate resort will feature nine gourmet dining options, including six à la carte restaurants, a buffet, a cafe, a grill by the pool, beach, and a private lounge for Preferred Club guests.

Dreams Playa Esmeralda Punta Cana (expected to open in 2024): The family-friendly resort will offer nine restaurants, three snack bars, an ice cream parlor as well as its own Preferred Club lounge, an Explorer’s Club for Kids with activities for children ages 3-12, a Core Zone Teens Club with entertainment for teens ages 13-17, and a water park.

Secrets Baby Beach Aruba (expected to open in 2025): This adults-only resort will mark Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection debut to the island of Aruba. Situated alongside Baby Beach, a popular white-sand lagoon in the southern part of the island close to San Nicolas, this new resort will boast architecture that blends with the landscape, offering stunning views of the region.

Secrets St. Lucia Resort & Spa (expected to open in 2025): Just minutes from the world-class Rodney Bay Marina, Cap Estate Golf Course, and capital city of Castries, guests will enjoy a stunning view of dramatically tapered mountains, volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, fishing village and more at this new adults-only property.

Breathless Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (expected to open in 2025): Situated in a secluded zone just 10 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, the resort will be a prime destination for adults-only guests, featuring impressive amenities, including four swimming pools, a scenic rooftop with picturesque views, a variety of culinary options and more.

For more information, visit hyatt.com.

A new massive cruise terminal is opening in Florida

Port Canaveral is building a new cruise terminal to meet the growing demands of the cruise industry.

The strategic decision to build a new multi-user cruise terminal at the Port’s existing North 8 berth provides significant cost savings, operational flexibility, and an expedited construction timeline of approximately two years to accommodate the largest ships in the world across a spectrum of brands.

Port Canaveral’s existing North 8 berth shares its basin with the Port’s Cruise Terminal 5 on the northside of Port Canaveral. Designed and built in 2018 for multi-purpose flexibility, North 8 berth will require minimal modifications to extend the current 1,020 linear feet bulkhead to 1,344 feet to accommodate large cruise vessels. Additionally, waterside improvements to the northside of the shared basin will also extend and improve the berthing capacity of Cruise Terminal 5.

Timeline for design, engineering, and construction are in development with target completion for the new facility by summer 2026. The new terminal campus will include a multi-story parking facility to accommodate up to 3,000 vehicles and roadway improvements in and out of the new facility, including turning lanes and a “flyover” ramp directly connecting the site with State Road 401.

61% of Canadians crave meaningful travel experiences

If 2023 was the year for “revenge travel,” then 2024 is shaping up to be the year for intentional exploration.
 
A recent Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) survey conducted by YouGov reveals that 61 per cent of Canadians are planning to pack their bags within the next year—but this time with a purpose.
 
Canadians are trading impulsive getaways for mindful travel choices, seeking meaningful experiences that align with their values, aspirations—and tighter budgets. The same study reveals that 82% of respondents are opting to adapt their vacations in response to soaring costs rather than abandoning their travel plans altogether.
 

Survey highlights

Surveyed Canadians are adopting a strategic approach to their travel choices:

  • 86 per cent prioritize cost savings and exclusive deals
  • 74 per cent seek destination variety and uniqueness
  • 57 per cent value personalization and customization
    This mindset has resulted in a 35% uptick in tour bookings for 2023 over previous years, indicating the growing preference for value-centric travel experiences, with tours typically offering savings of up to 20% compared to independently booking the same itinerary.
  For more information, visit flightcentre.ca.

Air Canada just added extra summer flights to Asia and Europe

Air Canada customers have a wide range of exciting options across Europe and Asia this summer, along with a choice of 120 destinations in North America, to fulfill their summer travel plans.

Alongside new and enhanced international routes to SingaporeMadridStockholm, Osaka and Seoul, the carrier’s Summer 2024 international capacity is growing by 30 per cent into Asia-Pacific and 25 per cent to key leisure destinations in Southern Europe compared to last summer.

Air Canada’s Atlantic schedule will provide the most non-stop service between Canada and Europe of any carrier. From Montreal and Toronto, Air Canada is launching new non-stop routes to Stockholm, and will increase frequencies to Rome and Athens. From Montreal, the carrier will also launch year-round service to Madrid, increase flights to Paris to up to three-times daily during the summer peak, and restore service to Lyon.

From Toronto, service will increase to Copenhagen and will commence Edinburgh and Brussels earlier in the season.

A gateway to the Pacific

Across the Pacific, Air Canada continues to build its Vancouver hub as the gateway to the Pacific.  

The carrier recently started year-round service to Singapore from Vancouver, and will increase capacity to Hong KongOsaka and Seoul. On the East Coast, the airline is excited to start seasonal service from Toronto to Osaka and increase capacity to Tokyo, while from Montreal, Air Canada will begin seasonal service to Seoul, complementing enhanced capacity to Tokyo.

In North America, new routes will be offered from Toronto and Montreal to Tulum, from Toronto to Charleston, and from Montreal to St. LouisAustin and New Orleans. Within CanadaOttawaCalgary and HalifaxVancouver flights will resume, and there will be frequency or capacity increases, including between Toronto and SaskatoonReginaVictoriaSydney and Gander, as well as between Montreal and Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, Edmonton, Moncton, Fredericton and Deer Lake.  

Air Canada is increasing its international network capacity by 8 per cent for summer 2024 compared to summer 2023. The airline is also boosting service to North America, with an increase of four per cent in available daily seats in 2024, with 518 flights to 120 destinations.

 

Stats say Canadians are ready to spend big on their next vacation

American Express Travel released its 2024 Global Travel Trends Report, highlighting the inspiration and trends driving global travel bookings this year.

The report reveals that Canadians rank as the second highest global market for anticipated average trip spend and are prioritizing spontaneous, bucket list, and once-in-a-lifetime vacations.

A summary of the Canadian findings from the American Express Travel 2024 Global Travel Trends Report are as follows:

  • Extended, bucket-list trips are on the rise: Canadians are looking to take longer trips compared to the global average, visiting multiple countries in a region or taking expedition/remote trips.
  • Canadians are willing to spend, unless a travel hack can help them save: Travellers are willing to foot the bill to get the most out of their trip but lean on travel hacks for cost savings and upgrades.
  • Spontaneity, solo travel and self-love drive travel desires: Canadians are leaving room for spontaneous exploration, exploring for self-fulfillment, and look to escape the chaos of daily life with solo trips.

What Canadian travellers want

One-in-three (33 per cent) Canadians planning on taking a trip in 2024 plan to travel for a major trip (e.g., bucket list trip, dream vacation) this year.

The most common types of trips Canadians consider to be a ‘dream vacation’ or major trip include multi-country tour within a region (66 per cent), expedition cruises (32 per cent), adventure travel (29 per cent), wellness retreats (23 per cent).

Among Canadians planning to take a trip to visit multiple countries in a region, 70 per cent plan on visiting Europe.

Canadians planning on taking a trip in 2024 are making the most of vacation time, with  one to two-week trips (45 per cent) and week-long trips (44 per cent) being most common, compared to week-long (47 per cent) and weekend trips (41 per cent) being most popular among global responses.

 

Canadians love savings

More than one third (36 per cent) of Canadians plan to spend more on travel compared to last year.

Globally, Canada ranks the second highest market for anticipated highest average spend for leisure trips at an average of $8,824 per trip.

Increased spend is balanced with a range of ‘travel hacks’ to save money on travel:

  • 44 per cent will travel during off-peak seasons.
  • 41 per cent will use credit card points to pay for flights/hotels.
  • 20 per cent will book through companies that offer complimentary hotel benefits (e.g. room upgrades, hotel credits)

Additionally, 85 per cent of Canadian adults agree that they are interested in finding flight deals so they can spend more on accommodations or upgrades.

The full American Express Travel 2024 Global Travel Trends Report can be downloaded here.

30 female-led tours that celebrate International Women’s Day

According to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) data, women in tourism comprise a significant portion of the sector’s workforce, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total employment.

This marks a substantial increase from 2010 to 2019, highlighting a 24 per cent surge in direct female employment within the sector, increasing from 38.6 million to 47.8 million.

Key findings reveal that hospitality stands out as the leading employer of women within the travel and tourism sector, with more than half (52 per cent) of all female employment in 2019 attributed to this segment.

“As our sector continues to grow, women have a key role to play; we have the opportunity to make travel and tourism more resilient and inclusive,” said Julia Simpson, president and CEO, WTTC. “Putting women at the heart of travel and tourism will be critical to securing a sustainable future for the sector.”

In celebration of International Women’s Day (Mar. 8), here are 30 not-to-be-missed female-led tours to experience in 2024.

AAT Kings

On the 14-day Southern Spirit guided vacation offered by AAT Kings, clients have the opportunity to visit Real Country farm on a Make Travel Matter Experience near Queenstown, New Zealand.

The Real Countryfarm is founded and owned by Laura Koot, who is passionate about empowering women to join the agricultural industry in New Zealand. She offers the Southern Girl Finishing School workshop which was created to help build confidence in teenage girls.

Koot also partnered with the Fairlight Foundation to develop on-farm training programs that foster and support career advancement for women in the agriculture industry in New Zealand.

Fairlight Foundation aims to remove barriers for rural women and provide free professional farming courses and services to advance women in the farming industry. AAT Kings is committed to supporting and empowering women and donates funds to The Fairlight Foundation for every guest on the Southern Spirit journey.

African Travel Inc.

During African Travel Inc.’s 10-day Southern Explorer journey, clients can witness South Africa’s unique spirit of Ubuntu by visiting Uthando’s eKhaya eKasi Art and Education Centre, a non-profit organization located in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Guests will participate in a Make travel Matter experience, where they’ll learn and experience the lives of these remarkable and courageous women by participating in various grassroots development programs. eKhaya eKasi serves as a community resource, providing skill training and entrepreneurship opportunities for women to promote economic development.

The centre also offers a range of community programs, including after-school activities for children, entrepreneurial skill development for women, and the sale of handmade crafts and art pieces available at the Art Boutique, which clients can purchase to support the artistic efforts of these women. African Travel, Inc. also offers private experiences with Uthando for clients interested in learning about Cape Town’s culture, history, and the philanthropic community.

Alpaca Expeditions

Featuring an all-female team of guides, porters and chefs, Alpaca Expeditions will offer a women-only, seven-day Salkantay & Sacred Valley Tour this June.

Participants will find themselves in a range of accommodations, including unique options like glass cabañas and charming hobbit houses, while embarking on an off-the-beaten-path trek along the Salkantay Trail, exploring the Sacred Valley, hiking to Humantay Lake and touring Machu Picchu.

Participants will also enjoy immersive culinary workshops, wine tastings, guided coffee tours and an educational excursion to an alpaca farm to learn about the traditional art of weaving.

G Adventures

G Adventures and its non-profit partner, Planeterra, have introduced five new community tourism projects designed to empower local women in the countries it visits, supporting the 444 women who help operate these five social enterprises.

Travellers can now experience the new women’s empowerment projects on the following G Adventures trips:

Insight Vacations

Insight Vacations invites travellers to join small, all-female groups on 11 expert-curated itineraries that span the world from North Africa to South America.

Created for women by women, each itinerary ranges in length from eight to 16 days. Insight’s first small-group Women Only Tours depart in 2025. For a limited time, Insight is offering an eight per cent discount on their Women-Only Tours, in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid’s Women’s Expeditions, which first launched in 2018, are a collection of tours led entirely by female leaders that aim to break down barriers for female travellers, debunk misconceptions about gender norms and celebrate the similarities and differences of women around the globe.

They are designed for female travellers and guided by amazing women all over the world. The trips allow travellers to interact and engage with a range of amazing local women while respecting local values.

In 2023, Intrepid added two new trips to its beloved Women’s Expeditions trip category, launching its first ever female-only tours in Pakistan and Nepal.

There are currently six to choose from:

Lion World Travel

On the nine-day Kenya in Absolute Style journey, guests have the opportunity to enjoy a Make Travel Matter Experience with a visit to the Kazuri Bead Factory, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls in the villages surrounding Nairobi who are single mothers, facing socioeconomic challenges and in need of regular employment.

The founder started by employing two single mothers, and today, Kazuri has remarkably grown to employ over 340 women who are skilled in crafting ceramic beads into beautiful and artistic handmade jewellery.

Planeterra

Planeterra recently partnered with Evaneos, an online marketplace for tailor-made tours. Together, they are launching three community tourism enterprises in South America, Asia, and Africa.

Urpis de Antaquillkais a community association formed by 23 women. They ventured into tourism to gain recognition for their handicrafts and generate direct economic income for their families. Through their experiences, this female-led association aims to share ancestral knowledge with those seeking genuine experiences.

PKP Community Centre is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering female empowerment and gender equality among vulnerable Balinese women and local girls. Through various initiatives, the centre offers programs focused on teaching essential skills like sewing, cooking, yoga, and community integration.

Razafindrabe is a women-led social enterprise on a mission to create sustainable livelihoods for women by promoting traditional Malagasy Raffia craftsmanship. They aim to empower women economically and socially through craft-making while also preserving Madagascar’s cultural heritage.

Wild Women Expeditions

Wild Women Expeditions recently rebranded, developed a new website, and launched two 2024 treks to Everest Base Camp trips.

In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), Wild Women Expeditions is donating 100 per cent of profits from both 2024 departures of their Trek to Everest Base Camp expedition directly to the Canadian-based not-for-profit Ally Global Foundation.

The organization assists women and girls who have survived human trafficking with finding safe housing, educational opportunities and job training in Nepal and Cambodia, and provides training and trafficking awareness programs in Canada.