QUEBEC CITY, June 18, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ -CAA-Quebec's annual survey of
members' vacation plans reveals that 7 out of 10 Quebecers are planning
to take a holiday break this summer. And though destinations within
Quebec are still the most popular in 2014, the U.S. East Coast as well
as Europe remain fashionable destinations, in spite of the dip in value
of the Canadian dollar.
A somewhat worrisome statistic also emerges: while planning travel
outside Quebec should automatically equal a travel insurance purchase
(to cover emergency medical care), 13% of out-of-province vacationers
fail to take this simple precaution. In addition, 70% of respondents
say a bilingual driver's licence would make life easier for them when
travelling in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
Looking at the survey results in more detail, 51% of Quebecers say they
are planning to take a total of two or three weeks of vacation this
summer. Not surprisingly, July and August are the favoured months.
However, 8% of those who aren't going anywhere this summer say they
will be vacationing at some other point during this year.
"With the democratization of access to travel purchases like cruises,
Europe, Asia and Sun destinations, more and more people are planning
their vacations differently. Summer is still a busy time, but consumer
habits are changing with the increased diversity of choices," says
Angelina Miconiatis, Senior Director, Travel Products, with CAA-Quebec
Among the reasons given by Quebecers for not taking a holiday this
summer, budgetary considerations headed the list at 33%, followed by
factors related to employment (21%), health (7%) and family (3%).
Not everyone is insured
One particular result of the survey is cause for concern: a significant
proportion of those surveyed say they will be travelling without
emergency medical care insurance coverage. More precisely, 13% of
people who have planned a stay outside Quebec say they haven't bought
this type of insurance. For the 18-24 year-old group, the percentage is
43%. Given that the cost of emergency hospitalization in the U.S. can
easily run into the thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars for
just a minor procedure, a decision to forgo insurance of any kind can
have severe financial consequences for a traveller and his or her
"And yet, you can get basic coverage for just a few dollars," Ms.
Miconiatis points out. "Everyone should make insurance an essential
part of any travel plans, even a quick shopping trip to Plattsburgh,
Road trips still rule
The automobile remains the favoured means of transportation of 63% of
those surveyed who will be going on summer vacation, but this is
tempered by the fact (noted more than once by CAA-Quebec in recent
years) that plenty of respondents are bothered by high gasoline prices.
A full 39% of prospective vacationers say the price of gas is having an
impact on their travel plans this year, and as a result they'll be
travelling a bit closer to home, cutting back on entertainment
expenses, spending less time outside the country and/or eating in
restaurants less often. At this time last year, the pump price of a
litre of gasoline in Montreal was $140.4 cents; currently, it is
hovering around $1.50.
Continuing with respondents' preferences, air travel, at 23%, was the
second most popular transportation option.
Bilingual driver's licences
Nearly 70% of respondents who say they will be travelling outside Quebec
believe Quebecers should be given the opportunity to obtain a driver's
licence in both official languages, similar to that used in Ontario.
The continuing situation with respect to Quebec driver's licences not
being recognized in the U.S. state of Georgia perhaps accounts for the
strong proportion of respondents in favour.
Destinations and spending
The Web traffic statistics as well as those from CAA-Quebec's TripTik
itinerary production centre prove it: the U.S. East Coast remains a
solidly anchored summer vacation tradition. This past April, almost 70%
of TripTik requests were for U.S. maps. The survey found more than 11%
of respondents were considering the East Coast, with a similar
proportion looking at destinations elsewhere in the United States.
Quebec, at 49%, and the U.S. (not including Florida), with 22%, were
the most popular destinations, following by the other Canadian
provinces (10%), Europe (9%) and Florida (5%).
Half of all travellers will be spending between $500 and $2,000, while
13% of respondents peg their expenses at between $2,000 and $3,000, and
4% say they expect their vacation to cost $5,000 or more.
Africa? Australia? Why not
CAA-Quebec also asked members to fantasize a bit and answer a final
question: if they were given enough money to go on their dream
vacation, what would it be? Astutely, 22% said they'd go on a culture
tour through European countries; 20% would relax on the beach in a
heavenly tropical destination; and 12% would see Canada from coast to
coast to coast. A further 6% said they'd go on an African photo safari,
while a chance to see Australia's iconic kangaroos was the dream
vacation choice of 3% of respondents.
The survey was conducted online between May 6 and 11, 2014, by the firm
Léger Marketing on CAA-Quebec's behalf, among 1,001 Quebecers. A random
sampling of the same size among the Quebec population would have a
margin of error of 3.1%.
View the detailed results
For those on the hunt for vacation ideas, CAA-Quebec has put together a selection of attractive options (in French only).
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges
to its 1,280,000 members.
For further information:
Assistant Director, Research and Public Affairs
418 624-2424, ext. 2418
Cell.: 418 580-1633