64% of Canadians plan to vacation within 12 months

Canadian Cruise ship travel up 5.18%

TORONTO, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - While tough economic times are causing Canadians to search for bigger travel bargains, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Tripharbour.ca shows that most (64%) are still planning a vacation within the next year. And according to statistics from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a growing number of these Canadians are choosing vacations at sea.

"Canadians put a high value on getting away from work and enjoying quality time with their loved ones," says Stuart MacDonald, President and CEO of Tripharbour.ca, the Internet's first combined cruise community, planning and buying site. "But while Canadians are not ready to jettison the family vacation, they are looking for travel deals that deliver more bang for the buck."

According to MacDonald, the rock-bottom pricing, incentives and all-inclusive deals being offered by the world's major cruise lines have hit a responsive chord with recession-weary Canadians. As proof, he points to the 2009 CLIA Cruise Market Overview which shows the number of Canadians taking cruises grew by 5.18% to 710,607 passengers in 2008 from 675,558 in 2007. And MacDonald says cruise sales at Tripharbour.ca in 2009 are running ahead of last year.

"With cruises to the Caribbean, South America and Europe selling for as low as $65 a day, we've seen a big increase in visitors to our site who are shopping for a deal on their family vacation," adds MacDonald. "And since the price of a cruise includes a room, all meals, entertainment and transportation from port to port, it's a pretty good value proposition."

According to the Ipsos Reid poll, 64% of Canadians are planning to take a vacation (defined here as three days or more and further than 100 km from home) within the next 12 months, while 77% will take one within the next two years. In contrast, when asked the same question in January of this year, 69% of Canadians said they were planning a vacation within the next year - five percentage points higher than the current survey.

According to the current survey, residents of British Columbia have the greatest urge to travel, with 73% saying they will take a vacation within the next 12 months. Albertans placed a close second, with 70% planning a leisure trip in the next year, followed by residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba at 68%, and Quebecers and Atlantic Canadians at 65%. However, only 57% of Ontarians are planning a vacation in the next 12 months, something that might reflect the deeper impact of the recession on that province.

"The bottom line is that most Canadians still want to vacation, but they're doing it more smartly by shopping for the very best deals," notes MacDonald.

The findings related to the vacation intentions of Canadians are from an online Ipsos Reid poll of 1,005 adult Canadians conducted on behalf of Tripharbour.ca from September 14 to 17, 2009. The statistics related to the number of Canadians taking cruise vacations is from the 2009 CLIA Cruise Market Overview.

About Tripharbour.ca

Tripharbour.ca is the web's first combined cruise community, planning and buying site. Founded in 2008 by travel industry innovator Stuart MacDonald, the site empowers travel consumers to find the cruise they've always wanted by merging e-commerce with e-community. Tripharbour.ca is also equipped with toll-free customer service support at 1-877-810-TRIP (8747), as well as an online social media community. Visit www.Tripharbour.ca.

SOURCE TRIPHARBOUR

For further information: For further information: or an interview, please contact Dave Moorcroft at (416) 727-1858 or dave@tripharbor.com

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