New Pacific Blue Cross survey reveals British Columbians are yearning for safe travel

Thursday, Sep 16, 2021

76 per cent say they are likely to travel by the end of 2022 and over 50% increase in purchase intention for travel insurance vs. pre-COVID travel

As schools begin to reopen and new COVID-19 health and safety measures roll-out, British Columbians are slowly returning to a sense of normalcy, and many are feeling a strong desire to travel safely to reunite with loved ones.

A new survey commissioned by Pacific Blue Cross and conducted by Insights West reveals many British Columbians are eager to travel, where a vast majority of 76 per cent responded likely to take a trip by end of 2022. The survey revealed 43 percent plan to take trips to the United States and 39 per cent plan to take trips to other international destinations.

The survey also found that, as B.C. continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines, 62 per cent of British Columbians will be comfortable taking a local trip involving no air travel by December 2021.

“People’s focus is on family and friends right now. We see from the survey that 82 per cent of British Columbians plan future trips for reunions with family or friends, where 73 per cent are to de-stress and relax”, says Cathy Nurmi, Senior Manager, Travel Plans, Pacific Blue Cross. “Impacted by COVID-19, many people have been forced to live apart from their friends and family for more than 18 months – so safe travel to reunite is definitely on British Columbians’ radar.”

The same survey shows British Columbians are dreaming of safe international travel, with top destinations outside North America being Europe and the Caribbean, followed by Asia and the South Pacific, though most respondents are planning to take these trips beyond 2021.

British Columbians are planning travel despite COVID-19

Although, interestingly, “no COVID-19 cases at destination” is not something most travelers are waiting for to travel, the survey indicates that many British Columbians are willing to comply with additional requirements in order to take a safe and enjoyable vacation and thinking of purchasing travel medical and trip protection for future trips.

The survey shows 74 per cent have indicated they will probably or definitely buy travel medical insurance—even if they’ve been fully vaccinated. This marks a significant shift in pre-COVID-19 perspectives, where only 48 per cent had purchased a travel medical plan, with only 23 per cent who had purchased trip cancellation or interruption protection.

But that doesn’t mean they’re unconcerned about COVID-19 at their destination. Almost three quarters of respondents said the most important consideration in buying travel insurance is whether it offers coverage for COVID-19 if they’ve been vaccinated.

As B.C.’s lead provider of health benefits and insurance policies, Pacific Blue Cross provides affordable access to the best possible health care solutions to meet every member’s ever-changing needs. This includes out-of-country medical coverage and trip protection policies.

“We know in the past, travel medical or trip protection insurance wasn’t universally adopted by British Columbian travelers, but the first question we’re being asked about is COVID coverage,” says John Crawford, President and CEO of Pacific Blue Cross. “The increase we’re seeing in the desire for buying travel insurance is unprecedented and shows that, while people want to travel, they want to do so safely, so they can protect their financial health and physical wellbeing.”

More than ever, British Columbians want safe and healthy travel

Pacific Blue Cross offers comprehensive travel insurance plans and add-on options to all current and future members. They are customizable and catered to individual’s needs. The online application process is straightforward and only takes minutes to complete.

Health and safety have become the primary concern for British Columbians. We encourage travelers to visit our new Travel Health Check portal for health advisories based on your destination.

For British Columbians who are fully vaccinated, we offer coverage for COVID-19 at no extra cost, empowering you to travel with peace of mind.

Your health is our priority, and Pacific Blue Cross is here, when you’re ready. For more information on travel insurance, please contact our Contact Center