Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 - NewsMaker

Unveils Its Annual Top Travel Trends & Hot Destinations for Canadians Next Year

TORONTO, ON -- (Marketwired) -- Dec 02, 2015 -- We have less than one month until we say good bye to 2015 and hello to 2016. That means it's time for the travel experts at Cheapflights.ca, the champions of simple travel search, to roll out their annual predictions about what lies ahead for Canadian travellers in the coming year. Cheapflights.ca's report on Top Travel Trends and Hot Destinations for 2016 offers a sneak peek into seven key travel trends -- such as the return of extreme long-haul flights, interesting aircraft design innovations and the onset of new luggage and even child tracking technology -- along with five hot spots expected to pique the interest of Canadian travellers in the year ahead.

Below are highlights of some of the trends and destinations on Cheapflights.ca's radar for 2016:

  • Low-cost carriers are adding competitive heat to the domestic and international markets. Witness American Airlines jumping on the bandwagon with the addition of no-frill fares, the success of Norwegian Air, which just started serving Las Vegas and the international airfare wars driven by the growth of WOW Air, which recently added transatlantic flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to its lineup and has announced plans for service from Toronto and Montreal. This is a welcome balance to the consolidation that has shaped the North American market recently.

  • The dropping price of oil, of course, has helped keep airfare competition alive and likely allowed for the pace of expansion of these international low-cost carriers. It's also fueling the return of the extreme long-haul flights. Emirates will launch a 17-hour, 35-minute flight from Dubai to Panama City starting Feb. 1, and Singapore Airlines has plans for a 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York, starting in 2018.

  • Aircraft design innovations also play a role in flight routes, as well as playing a major part in the storylines of passenger comfort and, relatedly, luggage capacity. While there has been a flurry of patents set to re-engineer the entire approach to passenger seating and cabin configurations, the more immediate changes will be a bit more practical. Look for innovations like a charging pad and tablet holder alongside your tray table, and the addition of occasional extra wide seats to accommodate larger passengers or car seats for kids.

No doubt the weakened dollar will have an impact on where Canadians head for vacation next year, with many opting to choose places that offer more bang for the loonie. The search for value, though, will not keep Canadians from setting out to explore destinations near and far. Below are three of Cheapflights.ca's five destination predictions for Canadians next year:

  • Brazil - Rio de Janeiro is getting ready for its close-up. The world will tune in for the 2016 Olympics in August, and Brazil is getting ready to play host. While a trip to the Olympic Games is a dream for many, we expect to see a steady stream of visitors before and, especially, after the competition. This budget-savvy approach is a more affordable way to catch the excitement or just see Brazil in its finest hour. And the Paralympic Games, slated for September, offer their own style of inspiration. Brazil has already waived the usual visa requirements for Canadians in this Olympic year, and the Loonie looks strong versus the Brazilian Real. Two more reasons this is (or should be) a banner year for travel to Brazil.

  • New Zealand - A dream destination for many, New Zealand may be getting a bit more attainable in 2016. New competition from U.S. hubs is driving down prices. American Airlines has announced non-stop service from Los Angeles to Auckland starting in June. Air New Zealand, which already serves that route, responded with an immediate fare cut. Air Canada has created some pricing pressure of its own by expanding service to the region with a new non-stop flight from Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia, to go with its daily flight to Sydney. Add in the relative strength of the Loonie in New Zealand, and it's easy to see why we expect to see a surge in Canadians making the long-haul journey this year.

  • Canada - Sometimes there is no place like home. And, when you call Canada home, there is no shortage of reasons to explore your own backyard. In a time when Canadian buying power has taken a hit in the U.S. and other nearby destinations, we expect an upswing in those opting for a domestic vacation. Americans will certainly be crossing the border for more affordable skiing, shopping, dining, festivals and sporting events, and many Canadians will leave the passport in the drawer and try a new city or resort in their home country as well.

India and Ireland are two more spots Cheapflights.ca predicts will see an upswing in Canadian visitors next year. Other travel trends to watch out for in 2016 include added separate travel options for kids and grown-ups; the carry-on baggage challenge; the influx of new luggage technologies and the renewal of the super-sonic flying dream. More details on these trends and Cheapflights.ca's complete Top Travel Trends and Hot Destinations for 2016 can be found at www.cheapflights.ca/news/top-travel-trends-and-hot-destinations-for-2016.

About Cheapflights.ca, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform dedicated to taking the complexity out of finding the best value flights through the application of innovative, intuitive technologies: Smart search. Made simple. It is now a market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating more than C$4 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from more than 120 travel businesses -- for whom it has driven more than C$80 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

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