It’s no secret millennials love to travel.
In fact, this generation is eight times more likely to take a lengthy vacation outside the country than inside it, according to Destination Canada President David Goldstein, whose agency is responsible for marketing Canadian tourism.
The result is a nationwide “international travel deficit,” a term used to describe the disparity between what Canadians spend outside the country and what we rake in from foreign tourists coming here. As you can see in the chart below, it’s quite the disparity:
So, why is this happening? Don’t we have enough incredible spots to check out within our own borders?
The Globe and Mail spoke to a number of millennials about the issue and found a host of reasons that account for their affinity to head abroad, ranging from expensive domestic flights to cooler Instagram material.
“Sharing photos from Machu Picchu on your Instagram is much more impressive than sharing photos from Saskatchewan,” says one. ”
“Sharing photos of Moraine Lake on your Instagram is much more impressive than sharing photos of the Sechura Desert,” a Peruvian might say.
But there are completely reasonable justifications as well: “If I can get to Europe or anywhere else for a fraction of the price of going to Toronto or Montreal, what’s to stop me?” asserts another. Others cite the exhilaration of landing at a foreign airport or bus terminal, different foods, diverse cultures and that, subconsciously, “Canada is Canada” as factors that determine international appeal.
As for Canada’s tourism industry, it’ll need to make some major changes to keep young people domestic. Marketing Canadian experiences on social media channels, cutting fees and taxes on airfares, youth discounts, and low-cost accommodation are just some of the measures the industry can consider.
In the meantime, here are 9 awesome, low-key European cities to check out.