July 21, 2024

Adventure Destinations League

Navigating Travel Wonders

Travel Agents Still Tops with Travellers: TDC/ Ipsos Study

Travel agents continue to occupy an enviable place with Canadians when it comes to planning and booking their next vacation, Karine Gagnon, General Manager of Transat Distribution Canada says after results from recent cross-Canada study done earlier this year were released.

Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) commissioned the study which was conducted by Ipsos and had 920
Canadians participated as of the end of March 2024 and highlights of this survey were shared with owners and managers of franchised and affiliated agencies last April, as part of the company’s Leaders Forum.

“It’s essential for a network of TDC’s stature to take the pulse of the market formally, to survey the travel intentions of Canadian customers at regular intervals, and above all, to measure the resonance of our brands. Our last study of this kind took place before the pandemic, so this portrait of travellers’ intentions comes at just the right time,” says Gagnon.

According to the study, TDC’s brands of franchised agencies – Marlin Travel in English Canada and Club Voyages in Quebec – enjoy an enviable reputation with customers, as do those of corporate agencies, Transat Travel/ Voyages Transat. They also top the list of brands that inspire the most confidence in Canadians, an average of 3.6 in English Canada and 3.81 in Quebec. 

Marc Pelletier

“We know that brand awareness is important when choosing a company, and especially when it comes to trust. This is even truer when we’re talking about a service company,” said

Marc Pelletier, Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and
Events at TDC. This trust, built over the long term, is a differentiating factor worth its weight in gold, especially in an industry with fierce competition.”

“Overall, the survey
shows that travel professionals continue to occupy an enviable place with Canadians
when it comes to planning and booking their next vacation, a very positive trend for all
TDC network members, whether they work in our franchised or affiliated agencies, in one
of our corporate agencies, or our agent@home program,” says Gagnon. “Canadians know they are real
experts, specially trained to meet their specific needs.”

Other highlights:

From the point of view of Marc Pelletier, Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and
Events at TDC, the findings of this study are indeed positive for travel professionals, and
more particularly for the brands of the TDC network as a whole.

“At TDC, our travel professionals are one of our most important strengths, and we are
increasingly highlighting them in our marketing initiatives. I’m particularly pleased to do so,
as our Ipsos survey reveals an upward trend in intentions to use their services. In fact, by
2024, 40% of Canadians travellers (and 45% of Quebec travelers) plan to book their next
vacation with the help of a travel professional. This represents a significant increase over
2023, when 31% of Canadian and 38% of Quebec customers used their services,” points
out Marc Pelletier. He adds that “the three main reasons why they do so are almost all
equivalent in terms of importance: being able to book everything from a single place,
making travel arrangements less stressful, and finally, talking to a real person and having
the opportunity to really verbalize their needs. In short, the human factor,” he adds.

“When it comes to the destination of their next vacation, Canadians’ top 3 preferences are
the United States (37%), then their province (35%), and finally, Canada but in a province
other than their own (33%).

 “The next most popular international destinations are Mexico and the Caribbean (29%),
followed by Europe (27%),” says Marc Pelletier. He adds that “when it comes to choosing
a means of transport, air travel is far ahead (68%), and the car comes second (50%).
When it comes to accommodation, hotels are still by far the favourite choice for Canadians,
at 73%, and in 2nd place comes house or apartment rentals, at 34%”, adds Marc Pelletier.
“And with 90% of Canadian travellers saying they are very or fairly likely to travel in 2024,
this bodes well for TDC members,” concludes Marc Pelletier. 

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