This text is part of the special book Plaisirs
Our crystal ball is well worth yours, but given certain indicators, the situation is not looking very good for the budget of holidaymakers. Already, it is hard to see how the tourist industry would not be affected by the highest rate of inflation we have known for thirty years! First text of a series in four parts.
At the Greater Montreal Hotel Association, which represents 110 independent hoteliers, President and CEO Jean-Sébastien Boudreault believes that overnight rates are currently on the rise to catch up with their 2019 level, the pre-pandemic reference year. , but will inevitably come under pressure from inflation. “Labour costs are going up, raw material costs, maintenance costs, food costs, everything is going up, so it’s the same with hospitality,” he says.
The CEO believes, however, that vacationers will not be disappointed even if they pay more for their room: “Hoteliers have understood that they must then offer more services and are finding ways to make the hotel experience even more interesting. ” An example ? “The Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, which presents a show from the circus sector, a bit like in Las Vegas. »
At Expedia Group, spokesperson Mary Zajac reveals that “average prices for flights and accommodation are still generally lower than in 2019, but it is possible that everything will change quickly: demand is increasing globally, and travelers Quebecers and Canadians alike have a thirst for travel, both at home and abroad. »
The story is different at Virtuoso. The group of some 20,000 travel agents specializing in luxury stays has already seen an increase of around 91% in the average price of high-end hotels internationally compared to 2019. In Canada, this increase would reach sometimes up to 104%!
Towards a flight of airfares?
Also according to Virtuoso, in the United States, airfares for spring flights are already 19% more expensive than in 2019. Will they also increase in the country? It’s in the air… “You have to keep in mind that we are undergoing a very significant increase in the price of fuel and that this will probably translate into an increase in prices, both for flights and for packages”, explains the door. -word of Transat Marie-Christine Pouliot.
For Evelyne Mayrand, president of Club Voyages Orientation, located in Boucherville, the case is settled. “Yes, the rates will increase, because it is a question of supply and demand, and the demand is very, very strong. Result: in one week, simple flights to Cancún for spring break increased by almost $300! »
Another part of the equation is the number of seats offered. “There are still destinations for which there are no flights, underlines Mme Mayrand. As we are in the midst of an adaptation period, it is difficult to predict whether the offer will follow…”
According to the advisor, it is currently “crazy” for last-minute packages in the South in March, when it is precisely the prices of these that have increased. “Right now it’s your summer trip to Europe that you should be planning, the offers are great. »
Travel at all costs
Interestingly, a Northstar study conducted last fall for Expedia indicates that 61% of Canadians plan to travel according to the “no regrets” philosophy, and this applies to both the destination chosen and the price paid. As if the desire to leave outweighed the uncertainty that normally entails a rise in the rate of inflation among consumers and the consequent caution.
CEGEP teacher Sophie Roy intends to materialize this summer the plan for a family trip to the United Kingdom which was to take place in the summer of 2019. moment, says the Montrealer. As it will be expensive anyway because of the exchange rate, we will try to save on the price of plane tickets. »
What will be his strategy? Buy non-refundable tickets as late as possible, either in May or June for a departure around June 28. “As there are several flights a day to London, it’s not stressful,” she says. Another option could be to buy tickets to Paris if they are cheaper: “If it is worth it, then we could go to London by train. »
Expensive, not expensive, Sophie Roy and her family have planned to leave longer in order to make up for lost time. “We are so eager to leave that it hurts! she exclaims.
Read next week: Summer holidays: going to Europe