Canadians jump on travel bandwagon as dollar hits par



    Half say they're now more likely to vacation in U.S.

    TORONTO, Sept. 24, /CNW/ - As the lofty Canadian dollar shares equal
billing with the American greenback, half of Canadians surveyed say they're
now more likely to vacation in the United States as a result of their
increased spending power.
    An Angus Reid survey that asked more than 1,000 Canadians on the same day
the loonie reached parity with the US dollar, revealed that half (49%) are
more likely to now travel to the U.S. given the news. B.C. leads the southern
migration with 63% of respondents more likely to head south for travel versus
48% of Ontarians and 43% of Quebecers.

    Well-seasoned travelers

    Canadians are enjoying their time off and are traveling on a vacation. On
average, Canadians travel 2.4 times a year for vacation (three days or more).
Albertans are less likely to stay home for vacation, leading with an average
of 3.1 travels, while Canadians 55 years and older are more likely (2.9 times)
to travel for vacation than Canadians aged 18-34 (2.1 times), according to the
survey.
    "After seeing these results, it's clear airlines and U.S. highways can
brace for an influx of Canadians heading south during the coming months. It's
no wonder air travel is at record numbers, said Lucas Marshall, Senior
Research Manager, Angus Reid Strategies. "It appears that the parity of the
Canadian dollar is a key travel motivator for Canadians," he added.

    Most popular tourist attractions

    Among seven tourist attractions tested, an overwhelming majority (69%) of
Canadians believe Disney Parks (Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or
Disneyland Resort in California) are the most popular tourist attractions in
the U.S. The Grand Canyon was second with 18% of respondents choosing this
option followed by the Statue of Liberty (8%), and the Empire State Building
(3%). Interestingly, of those respondents who don't have children at home, 80%
still chose Disney Parks as the most popular U.S. tourist attractions versus
63% who have kids at home.
    Two out of five Canadians polled have travelled to what they believe is
America's most popular tourist attraction with 41% having visited either the
Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California
while in B.C. half (51%) have visited one of the resorts. Those 55 and over
(47%) have travelled to a U.S. Disney Park more than any other age group
especially the 18-34 year old group (37%).

    About the survey

    Angus Reid Strategies conducted the online survey on behalf of Walt
Disney Parks & Resorts (Canada) from September 20 to September 21, 2007. The
survey was conducted among a randomly-selected, nationally-representative
sample of 1,032 adult Canadians aged 18 and over. With a sample of this size,
the results can be considered accurate to within a margin of error of +/-
3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be higher within regions or
other sub-segments of the overall sample. The data was statistically weighted
to ensure the sample's educational, regional, age and gender composition
reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Statistics
Canada's 2006 Census data.





For further information:

For further information: an interview with Angus Reid Strategies or with
a Disney Parks Representative or to see a full copy of the report please
contact: Olga Petrycki, PUNCH Communications, (416) 360-6522 x226, or (416)
427-0697, (mobile), olgap@punch.to; Rene d'Entremont, Walt Disney Parks and
Resorts Canada, (416) 596-3356, or (416) 570-3394, (mobile),
Rene.dentremont@disney.com

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