QUEBEC CITY, June 14, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - CAA-Quebec's annual survey of
its members' vacation plans reveals that only 63% of respondents intend
to take holidays this summer, compared to 80% in 2010. The figure is
also 7% lower than the 2011 findings. In addition, when the survey was
conducted in mid-May, 20% still did not know whether they would be
going away this summer; this is a significant 6% increase over the
number of undecided respondents in 2011.
Highlights of the 2012 survey include the finding that more respondents
who will be going on holiday - 23%, compared to 15% last year - will
be taking only a few days off. The popularity of the traditional
two-week holiday has dropped a significant 10%, from 34% last year to
only 24% of respondents this year. According to the survey, 16% of
respondents will be holidaying for three weeks, while 12% will be away
for four weeks or longer; these lengths of time have remained as
popular as in previous years.
"Based on this survey's overall results, it can be reasonably assumed
that respondents are still cautious and are holding back somewhat on
their summer holiday plans," says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Assistant
Vice President, Public and Government Relations. "Uncertainty,
hesitation and plans to vacation in their respective regions are the
key trends observed."
Destinations and accommodation
More than half - 55% - of the respondents who said they will be
vacationing this summer indicated that they will stay in Quebec. Other
Canadian provinces (15%), the East Coast of the U.S. (10%) and Florida
(3%) also remain popular destinations. The proportion of respondents
opting to vacation in these destinations outside Quebec has not changed
significantly from previous years. The type of accommodation booked,
however, has changed slightly. While hotels, motels and inns remain
very popular, with 35% of respondents opting for those types of
accommodation (unchanged from last year), the proportion who plan to
stay with friends or relatives has increased from 18% in 2011 to 25% in
2012. This change could be due to the fact that the number of people
opting to camp has declined 7%, from 21% in 2011 to 14% this year.
Budgets, parity of the Canadian dollar and holidays in the United States
Like last year, the vast majority of vacationers - 70% - plan to spend
less than $2,000 on their holidays. The budget will be lower for 20% of
respondents, unchanged for 53% and higher for 23%; these figures are
virtually the same as those for the past two years. However, the survey
sought to determine whether the Canadian dollar being near par with its
U.S. counterpart is an incentive for Quebecers to travel to the U.S.
According to the survey, the answer is no! On the contrary: last year,
32% of respondents stated that the strength of the dollar would
certainly or probably influence their plans to travel to the United
States while the percentage of respondents who answered the same this
year was down to only 21%. Thus, 63% of respondents answered that this
factor will probably or definitely not impact their choice of
What about gas prices?
Because a very sizeable proportion of respondents (75%) who plan to go
on holiday will be driving, will gas prices have an impact on travel
plans? For 42% of respondents, the answer is yes; however, this is down
from 55% last year when gas prices were only very slightly higher at
the same time. Thus, higher gas prices will have different impacts on
travellers: 45% will holiday closer to home, 17% will cut back on
entertainment and 15% will eat fewer meals in restaurants... all these
statistics are slightly lower than those recorded last year.
"We could be led to believe that motorists are used to higher fuel
prices, however data from this same survey show us instead that 69% of
them have opted to change their driving habits since early 2012," notes
Ms. Gagnon. "Under these circumstances, it can only be assumed that
fuel prices may have less of an impact on their summer travel plans."
Changing habits to cut back on fuel costs
Generally speaking, 74% of respondents are planning their travel better,
65% are driving slower and 12% are using public transportation more.
Because respondents could tick more than one answer for this question,
it can be concluded that these motorists are applying more than one
good driving practice to offset rising gas prices.
It is worth noting that 4% of respondents who have not changed their
habits feel that pump prices are not sufficiently high to have an
impact on their behaviour.
This electronic survey of members' vacation plans coincides with the
beginning of another summer season for CAA-Quebec Travel, which offers many packages and motoring getaways on its website as
well as in its 13 service centres. The survey was conducted between May
1 and May 22 among respondents from a representative sample of
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges
to its 1.1 million members.
For further information:
418 624-2424, ext. 2418