Following several months of stark regression due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, all key markets are showing starkly improved market readiness this month. The recovery that had begun through the early fall before the Omicron setback appears poised to resume through the spring. However, while the beginning of a recovery is cause for optimism, the length and pace of that recovery remains long and uncertain.
Our Market Readiness Index for March shows improvements in all facets for readiness for nearly all geographic visitor markets.In other words, this month we see far more green and almost no red - a sharp turn from just a month ago. As Ontario and key markets wrestled down the new variant, restrictions were relaxed and consumers renewed their comfort to engage in travel activities.
This month we see dramatic improvements in Destination Readiness as capacity restrictions are largely removed for all settings. Restaurants, attractions, sport events, meetings and other key visitor attractors have resumed full capacity service. In another dimension of our Destination Readiness assessment, we see significant increase in the willingness of the resident community to accept visitors from different regions, which remains much higher for domestic travelers than U.S. or international travelers.
Access Readiness improved significantly with the removal of the requirement for a PCR test to enter Canada, and the elimination of the mandatory quarantine following a random test on arrival. There remain some testing requirements in place that are more stringent than many other countries, and the confusion and perception of hassles with travel to Canada will linger for some time. But Access Readiness has improved markedly through these policy shifts, as well as continued increases in flight capacity by key air carriers.
Finally it is the customers themselves that are showing significant changes in their own readiness to travel in general, and travel to Canada, Ontario and Toronto specifically. Across all categories and activities, customers are expressing greater comfort with key travel experiences from flying in planes to eating in restaurants. Travel search activity continues to grow, and for American and international travelers, the growth in search for Toronto and Canada has been sharp.