Ontario’s cottage country a popular destination this summer


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This summer, a staycation at an Ontario cottage may be a popular choice even with pandemic travel restrictions lifted.

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Shari van de Pol, who has a Muskoka cottage she rents out, says there’s a lot of speculation since travel has opened up and become easier that more people will be heading overseas and not to cottage country.

“Although travel is booming, the increasing prices, increased regulations and changing guidelines due to COVID continue to add a level of difficulty a lot of people don’t want to gamble with when contemplating international travel,” she said. “Many travelers encountered situations such as contracting COVID while away and having to quarantine, missing a testing step that caused them to miss a flight, or getting sick with something else and facing a stressed international healthcare situation.”

“The drive for short-term rentals over the past two years has allowed Airbnb owners to expand their imaginations with an expanded budget when it comes to design and architecture. Higher prices have made designs possible that were often only available in more typical tourist markets. Examples like ‘The Water’s Edge’ cottage in Muskoka have forged a path creating their own unique Canadian take on going to the cottage.”

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The Vrbo vacation rental site states even after the unprecedented early surge in demand for summer vacation homes last year, the rush to book vacation homes this coming summer will be further accelerated in 2022.

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“With the early surge in demand for summer vacation homes last year, some travelers missed the window to book their ideal Vrbo property in their preferred vacation destination,” Vrbo says.

“Difficulty navigating international travel restrictions and COVID-19 testing requirements over the past year meant families preferred visiting domestic vacation destinations. As countries start lifting these restrictions, some travelers are booking international travel again.”

Matt McNama, an Airbnb spokesperson, believes Ontario’s cottage country will be a popular destination this summer.

“That is what we are expecting,” he said. “We have seen a massive increase in spring travel and we expect that into the summer.”

“Muskoka is Canada’s biggest destination and this year the Americans will be back,” McNama added.

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