May 14, 2008 07:00 ET

Rising Canadian Vacation Deprivation™ Condition Leading to Vacation Envy, Expedia.ca Survey Reveals

Two in five working Canadians have experienced vacation envy; nearly 1 million Canadians booked a vacation as a result

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - The sixth annual Expedia.ca™ Vacation Deprivation™ survey by Ipsos-Reid reveals that more than one quarter (29 per cent) of Canadians are not taking all of their vacation time (up from 21 per cent last year) and 33 per cent of Canadians identify themselves as being vacation deprived (up from 31 per cent last year). Canadians give back an average of 2.43 days (up from 2.06 last year) of unused vacation time to their employers. This translates into nearly 41 million untaken days in Canada overall and a staggering $6.3 billion (CDN) in wages handed back to employers.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult for Canadians to break away and enjoy a real vacation, given the popularity of electronic devices like Blackberries and feelings of vacation guilt brought on by some employers or colleagues," says Beverly Beuermann-King, a stress and wellness expert. "As the Vacation Deprivation condition creeps up, it's not surprising to see vacation envy emerging as an issue in the workplace."

Vacation envy on the rise

Vacation Deprivation™ symptoms can lead to vacation envy - feelings of jealousy when a co-worker or friend returns from vacation. This year's survey revealed that 42 per cent of Canadians admit they have felt vacation envy at some point in their life. Some Canadians are more susceptible to envy - women (48 per cent) are more likely than men (35 per cent) to have felt vacation envy and younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 (59 per cent) are twice as likely to have suffered from vacation envy, compared to those over the age of 54 (26 per cent).

Are electronic devices helping or hindering vacation planning?

When asked if technological advances such as Blackberries, PDAs, Pocket PCs, webmail or cell phones make it easier to take vacations, 48 per cent of Canadian workers feel that technological advances have made it more difficult to get away from work, up from 41 per cent last year. Only 19 per cent of Canadian workers feel that technological devices make it easier for them to get away from the office. Men (22 per cent) are also more likely than women (15 per cent) to feel that it is easier to get away from the office with electronic devices.

What prompts Canadians to take time off?

The survey found that a majority (51 per cent) of Canadians indicate that a family event, such as a wedding or family reunion, would prompt them to use their allotted vacation time. "Finding a great deal" on a vacation would prompt 43 per cent of Canadians to book a trip and 33 per cent say that their interest in an amazing vacation destination inspires them to book time off work. Travel options such as convenient flight times or direct flights also encourage 31 per cent of Canadians to use their vacation days.

Increasing vacation stimulation at work

Two in 10 Canadians (18 per cent) believe that their employer does not offer a fair vacation policy. What can employers do to help decrease Vacation Deprivation™ symptoms among their staff? The survey found that 21 per cent of employees feel that a mandatory policy to take a minimum number of vacation days per year would do the trick. Canadians believe that employers can motivate them to take vacation time by lightening their work load (17 per cent), encouraging them to take time off (17 per cent) and offering a fair vacation policy (14 per cent).

VD from sea to shining sea

The survey revealed that British Columbians (42 per cent) are the most likely to identify themselves as vacation deprived, followed by those living in Alberta (41 per cent), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (37 per cent), Ontario (36 per cent), Atlantic Canada (30 per cent) and Quebec (19 per cent). Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (42 per cent) are most likely to have not taken all of their vacation days, followed by those living in Alberta (36 per cent), Atlantic Canada (36 per cent), British Columbia (32 per cent), Ontario (29 per cent) and Quebec (18 per cent).

Why aren't we taking time off?

One in five (20 per cent) Canadians revealed they have cancelled or postponed their vacation plans in the past because of work. According to the survey, some reasons for not taking all vacation days are:

- "not scheduling far enough in advance" (12 per cent)

- "too busy with work to get away" (8 per cent)

- "having kids in school" (5 per cent)

- "fear of being perceived negatively by colleagues" (3 per cent)

- "fear of missing an important meeting or decision" (2 per cent)

Additionally, Canadian workers may also find it stressful to take vacations - 31 per cent feel guilty about taking time off and 25 per cent say that their employer does not encourage them to take all of their vacation time.

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Survey Methodology


These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Expedia from 03/25 to 03/28, 2008. This online survey of 2,032 employed adult Canadians was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Expedia.ca

Expedia, Inc. operates Canada's most visited full-service online travel service, Expedia.ca™. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia.ca 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.ca 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.ca, Expedia and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in Canada and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

(C) 2008 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contact Information

  • For further information or to schedule an interview with
    stress and wellness specialist, Beverly Beuermann-King,
    please contact: Edelman
    Noor Marzook
    (416) 979-1120 x 239
    Email: noor.marzook@edelman.com
    Melissa Legaspi
    (416) 979-1120 x 272
    Email: melissa.legaspi@edelman.com