Canadians say "N-Eh" to March Break vacations

--AIR MILES survey reveals many Canadians will take vacation another time--

TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - Taking a March Break vacation is a thing of the past for many Canadian parents who are showing more concern about time, money and stress in 2010 than in past years. According to the respondents of the third annual AIR MILES(R) Reward Program March Break survey, 79 per cent of parents admit they are not planning to take any time off at all this March Break. Of those respondents, 52 per cent say they are foregoing a mid-winter vacation for a holiday later this year, and one in three confess they just can't afford it.

"Canadians are taking a very different approach to March Break 2010 following a challenging economic year," comments Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Neil Everett of the AIR MILES Reward Program. "Our survey reveals a decrease in the number of respondents planning on taking time off or a vacation during March Break, with an increase in parents planning activities around the home. The stay-cation continues to be a popular alternative for Canadian families in 2010."

With so many families staying close to home this March Break, parents are concerned about scheduling activities that will keep their children occupied - one in five say that they feel pressured about organizing March Break plans for their children and of these parents, 80 per cent are stressed about the cost. As a result, over half of respondents are planning on keeping things simple with minimal preparation, and only 3 per cent stated that they have made any plans at all one month before the break. The survey also revealed that one in five families plan on utilizing their saved loyalty miles or points to offset the costs of March Break activities.

"As in year's past, some Canadian families are relying on their loyalty rewards to help supplement their vacation budgets, and in some cases, their saved loyalty miles could be what are funding the entire holiday," continues Everett. "With a focus on family entertainment, the AIR MILES reward portfolio can help parents plan their March Break holiday easily and in one-stop with wide range of activities, day-trips, attractions, restaurants and entertainment options that will create a memorable holiday for families."

About the Survey

These results are based on 1,060 online interviews with Canadians, 18 years of age and older. Interviews were conducted between February 11th and 14th, 2010. The sample size used ensures, with 95% certainty, that the overall results are within +/-3.0 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire Canadian population been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger for sub-groupings of the survey sample.

About the AIR MILES Reward Program

Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada's premier coalition loyalty program. More than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households, actively participate in the Program. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to indulge in leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and other lifestyle rewards quickly, simply by doing their everyday shopping for products and services at AIR MILES Sponsors. AIR MILES reward miles can be redeemed for more than 1,200 different rewards, such as movie passes, family attractions, electronic merchandise, sports and recreation, travel and more.

SOURCE AIR MILES Reward Program

For further information: For further information: AIR MILES Reward Program Media Desk, (416) 552-2346 or mediaoffice@loyalty.com


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