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July 02, 2015 07:30 ET

BMO Private Banking Study: Affluent Canadians Plan to Spend an Average of $12,000 on Vacations This Year

- Sixty-five per cent plan to travel three times or more a year for pleasure

- High-net worth travelers expect to spend an average amount of $5,665 per trip, three times more than Canadians as a whole

- Most plan to travel within North America and during the winter and summer seasons

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 2, 2015) - With summer vacation season in full swing, BMO Private Banking, part of BMO Wealth Management, today released the results of a study which examines the vacation habits of high-net worth Canadians (those with investible assets of $1 million or more). The study is part of a series examining trends among Canada's affluent.

According to the study, affluent Canadians expect to spend an annual average of $12,393 on leisure travel (including airfare, accommodation, food, etc.). Further:

  • Wealthy Canadian travelers expect to spend an average amount of $5,665 per trip, compared to the average of $1,800* that Canadians overall plan to spend per vacation.
  • Sixty-five per cent of high-net worth Canadians plan to take, on average, three or more vacations this year.
  • The vast majority choose to fly economy (83 per cent) rather than first class (16 per cent)

"Regardless of your income level, it's important to be aware of the financial considerations of vacationing and plan your holidays with that in mind," said Myra Cridland, Head, BMO Private Banking. "A financial professional can help create a comprehensive wealth plan which includes a leisure component and incorporates details such as how often you'd like to travel and the type of experience you'd like to have."

Travelling in Style

The study also found, upon arriving at their destination:

  • Fifty-four per cent of affluent Canadians stay in a four-star hotel rather than a five-star (29 per cent).
  • Forty-one per cent stay at an all-inclusive resort.
  • Thirty-three per cent stay in a rental unit.

Wealthy Canadians most often travel to the U.S. (74 per cent) or stay within Canada (57 per cent). Half vacation in Europe (49 per cent) while other popular destinations also include the Caribbean (39 per cent) and Mexico (27 per cent).

According to the study, winter is the most popular season for travel (70 per cent); more than half vacation during the summer, spring and fall. However, only one in ten take leisure trips over the Christmas holiday season.

"Before making your vacation plans it's important to check your travel insurance coverage to ensure it meets your needs - from the amount and type of coverage to the number of trips and days you will be away," said Rocco Casullo, Head, Direct to Consumer Insurance, BMO Insurance. "Travel medical insurance is meant to help you when the unexpected happens on your trip and ensure you and your family's financial situation is protected in the event of a medical emergency. A quick call to your insurance company before leaving gives you the opportunity to ask questions about pre-existing medical conditions or any other situation that may potentially affect your coverage."

A recent BMO Insurance study showed that needing medical attention while abroad (41 per cent) is one of the top concerns for Canadians and more than one third (36 per cent) have required some form of medical attention while on vacation.*

Regional Breakdown:

Region Average amount ($) spent on vacations this year Average amount ($) spent per trip (high-net worth Canadians versus average income Canadians) % who plan travel more than three times a year
National 12,393 5,665/1,777 63
Atlantic 11,607 4,644/1,822 51
Quebec 13,193 4,314/1,615 67
Ontario 10,308 7,595/1,841 59
Prairies 11,310 3,852/1,948 54
Alberta 12,796 4,962/1,727 73
British Columbia 17,642 4,473/1,738 74

Survey results cited in this study are from an online survey that was conducted by Pollara between October 15th and 28th, 2014 with a sample of 306 Canadians 18 years of age and older, who have at least $1 million in investable assets (excluding employers retirement plans, insurance products or their home).

* The survey was conducted by Pollara between March 9th and March 11th, 2015 with an online sample of 1,005 Canadians. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Private Banking (formerly BMO Harris Private Banking)

Backed by the stability and resources of BMO Financial Group, professionals at BMO Private Banking are responsible for the successful management of wealth by providing expert advice and highly personalized services -- all in a coordinated approach. Banking services are provided by Bank of Montreal. Investment management services are provided by BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc. Estate, Trust, Planning and Custodial Services are offered through BMO Trust Company.

For more information on BMO Private Banking, please visit www.bmo.com/privatebanking.

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