Canadians are eager to see extended family and friends this holiday season, but not without concerns of COVID-19 exposure, according to the latest PayPal Canada 2021 Holiday Giving Study. Only one in ten Canadians who responded feel like the holidays will be back to normal this year while the majority believe the pandemic will affect their celebrations. The study found four in ten (39 per cent), plan to celebrate the holidays this year by visiting family or friends at their homes, and a third (30 per cent) will host extended family this year.
More than half (58 per cent) of Canadians polled will only celebrate with guests who are double vaccinated against COVID-19 with nearly one in ten (9 per cent) saying they will ask their guests to take a COVID-19 test before arrival regardless of their vaccination status. One in five (21 per cent) are anxious about hosting people because of health concerns.
Travel is not in the cards this season for most. While many Canadians usually get away for the holidays, fewer will this year—nearly a fifth (17 per cent) who responded said the pandemic has placed a dampener on their holiday travel plans and 12 per cent will travel less because of the extra costs of COVID-19 testing.
Changes in consumer shopping behaviour are here to stay with 65 per cent of Canadian respondents agreeing the pandemic has permanently changed their shopping habits. Canadian shoppers plan to avoid the crowds while holiday shopping with over half (55 per cent) saying they will shop online more and 37 per cent noting they will shop in stores at quiet times to avoid crowds.
Canadians already have a head start on their shopping this year. One in five (19 per cent) have done most of their holiday shopping with 36 per cent intending to complete it by the end of November, and 80 per cent aiming to get it done by the second week of December.
- More than half (58 per cent) of Canadians who responded will only invite guests who are double vaccinated against COVID-19 for holiday celebrations.
- 65 per cent of Canadian respondents said the pandemic has permanently changed their shopping habits.
- 80 per cent indicate they feel more motivated to support causes and charity as a direct result of the pandemic.