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November 15, 2012 09:45 ET

Out of Office Alert: Expedia.ca's 10th Annual Vacation Deprivation Study Shows Canadians Are Taking More Holidays Than 10 Years Ago

Workers in the Prairies now the most vacation-deprived, those in B.C. the least

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2012) -

Attention: Lifestyle, Travel and Business Editors

Despite recent dips in the global economy and the ever-increasing ability to check into work from almost anywhere, Canadians are actually vacationing more than they were 10 years ago. The findings, taken from Expedia.ca's 10th annual Vacation Deprivation® study, was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia.ca, Canada's leading online travel provider, which has been tracking the holiday habits of working Canadians since 2003.

The number of Canadians taking all the vacation days allotted to them has significantly increased since the first year of the study, when one-third, or 33 per cent, were not taking all of their vacation days. Fast-forward 10 years and this figure has dropped to a national average of only 19 per cent. Those surveyed in 2012 reported typically receiving 15 vacation days annually.

"After 10 years studying working Canadians' vacation habits, it's great to see we're growing more comfortable taking off the time we deserve," said Sean Shannon, Vice-President and Managing Director of Expedia Canada. "Seeing new places, immersing in a culture, fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit a destination, and even just enjoying a warmer climate are experiences we should make time for because of the immediate and long-term benefits travel has on our professional and personal lives."

British Columbians switch from most to least vacation-deprived

Though British Columbia has a reputation for being laid-back, that was not evident in Expedia.ca's first Vacation Deprivation study. In 2003, 41 per cent of respondents from B.C. said they did not use up all of their vacation time, the highest of all provinces. Today, workers in the province have become the least "vacation deprived," with only 13 per cent stating they leave vacation days on the table - the lowest of any region in the country.

As for the most vacation-deprived region? That dubious distinction goes to the Prairies, where 25 per cent of respondents took less vacation time than they were entitled to in 2012. This figure is down from 10 years ago, when it was at 35 per cent.

Other 10-year provincial comparisons include:

  • 33 per cent of employed Alberta residents didn't take all of their allotted vacation days in 2003 compared with 15 per cent in 2012.
  • 32 per cent of employed Ontario residents in 2003 did not take all of their allotted vacation days compared with 21 per cent in 2012.
  • 30 per cent of working Quebecers reported not taking all their vacation time 10 years ago, compared with 21 per cent today.
  • 35 per cent of employed Atlantic Canadians stated they did not take all of their allotted vacation days in 2003 compared with 18 per cent this year.

"Regardless of anyone's position on the corporate ladder, there are real benefits to 'falling off the grid' and focusing on enjoying your holiday," said Shannon. "Despite the challenges we sometimes experience catching up with work after returning from vacation, there's no doubt that those who take the vacation time they are given come back invigorated, happier and de-stressed."

Other statistics uncovered by the 2012 Vacation Deprivation study include:

  • Fifty-nine per cent of Canadians report 'constantly,' 'regularly' or at least 'sometimes' checking work email or voicemail while on holiday.

  • Common reasons why Canadians forgo vacationing include not being able to afford a holiday (26 per cent) and difficulties co-ordinating schedules with spouses, family and friends (21 per cent).

  • Not surprisingly, summer is the preferred season for Canadians to take a vacation (43 per cent), followed by winter (26 per cent), fall (20 per cent) and spring (11 per cent). However 43 per cent of Prairie residents surveyed chose the winter as their ideal time for a getaway.

  • While the majority of Canadians felt supported by their bosses to take a vacation (72 per cent), this number was lowest in Quebec (56 per cent). Once vacation plans are made, however, Quebecers were the least likely to cancel or postpone them (27 per cent), while those in Atlantic Canada and Ontario were most likely to amend travel plans because of professional obligations at 40 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.

  • Though Quebec has a reputation for being the most romantic province, it was in fact Maritimers who said they were most likely to go on holiday only with a significant other (21 and 44 per cent, respectively). Quebecers actually fared lowest on the list on whether they took a vacation with a partner in the last year.

Expedia.ca offers solutions for the vacation-deprived

For vacation-deprived Canadians who still need to take their holiday before the end of the year, or for those dreading the cold, long winter to come, Expedia.ca's Escape Winter Sale, which launches on December 11, offers countless customizable vacation options to get away to warm, sunny destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and other destinations around the world.

Methodology

Harris Interactive® fielded the online survey on behalf of Expedia between September 13 and October 12, 2012 among a nationwide cross-section of 1,057 employed Canadians aged 16+. The data were weighted to be representative of the total adult population.

About Expedia Inc.

Expedia, Inc. operates Canada's most visited full-service online travel service, Expedia.ca. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia, Inc. provides the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, trip insurance and traveller-authored content. Expedia customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response.

Expedia, Expedia.ca, the Airplane logo and Vacation Deprivation are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50.

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