Why do so many people travel in the cold?
What are the reasons behind the winter travel habits of Canadians?
Traveling in the winters can be an intimidating experience for anyone, but for some people it can also be a rewarding one.
In fact, the weather in winter is such a huge factor in the travel habits and health outcomes of Canadians, it is the number of people who travel in winter that is really the big driver of the overall health and wellness of the population.
And when you consider how busy Canadians are with their daily lives, the number who travel by road is no surprise.
According to a study conducted by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, a health organization based in Toronto, there are nearly 10 million Canadians travelling by road in the year.
So how do we know when we’re going to see a winter spike in winter travel?
According to the National Travel and Tourism Association, travel by snowmobile and snowmobile-related travel are the two fastest growing sources of winter travel.
Snowmobile travel is expected to be the second-most popular source of winter driving after car travel in 2019, with more than 7 million people traveling by snowmobiling and snowmobiles in 2019.
In terms of travel by public transit, winter tourism is expected for the first time in 2019 to account for 14 percent of all winter travel in Canada.
According the IHMA, there have been a total of 15,564 winter-related fatalities and more than $1.5 billion in economic costs associated with winter travel since 2005.
So while winter travel is an issue that many people face in the colder months, it’s a major reason why the number is increasing, says the institute.
“Traveling by snowmobiles and snowmobilers can be challenging because they are so popular,” said Dr. Jennifer Roeser, chair of the health, wellness and tourism committee for the IHSM.
“But as the number goes up, so do the number people who are injured, sickened or killed because of accidents caused by driving while on snowmotorized equipment.”
For example, in the summer of 2018, there were about 30,000 injuries and about 1,200 fatalities associated with snowmobiled or snowmobile accidents in the province of Alberta.
The Institute of Travel Research, which was established by the government in 1997, has found that winter travel has become a major part of the winter tourism sector in recent years.
According, a significant portion of the travel activity in Canada is by snow or snowmobilers.
This includes a significant amount of travel for holiday travel, snowmobiler tourism and snowshoeing, and roadtripping, as well as travel by car and public transit.
The IHSMA reports that more than 70 percent of people aged 25-34, who are travelling by car, public transit or snowmobile, drive to work every day, compared to less than 20 percent of the public travelling by snow, snowmobile or snowshoes.
Travel by public transportation also plays a role in the overall winter travel activity of Canadians.
According to the IHI, the travel to work is estimated to account at about 30 percent of winter activity in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.
And in the last five years, public transport travel has increased more than 50 percent in all provinces, with Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia the highest-profile areas of growth.
“Public transit trips have grown dramatically over the last 20 years, with travel from the airport to the transit station rising from just 10 percent of daily activity in 2005 to more than 45 percent in 2019,” said Roeserr.
“The trend is clear.
Public transit has become the major way people travel to and from work in Canada.”
What do Canadians do when they travel by train?
In addition to the high numbers of Canadians travelling on public transit during the winter, the IHHMA also reports that there is an increase in the number and frequency of trips by train in the region.
In 2018, over 2.2 million trips were made by public rail in the Northern Ontario region, with approximately 600,000 passengers travelling by train to and through the region each day.
Over 3 million trips are made by train each day by Canadians travelling to and via Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, and more trips are likely to be made in 2019 as the province is forecast to be in a cold snap for most of the year, according to the institute, which also notes that trains will also be used in parts of British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for the rest of the spring.
What are the health implications of winter?
As the health effects of winter wear on people and the economy continues to grow, so too do the health and wellbeing of Canadians as we head into the holidays season.
The Canadian Cancer Society, which has been tracking the health of Canadians in the months leading up to the holidays, has released its annual winter report, and the IHPMA reports a