Canadians set to leave close to 10 million vacation days on the table this year, Expedia.ca survey finds

Expedia.ca sought out some of the most vacation-deprived Canadians to help
get to the root of this phenomenon

For more photos and video please visit: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7642951-expedia-15anniversary/

TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - This year marks the 15th anniversary for Expedia.ca, the nation's most-visited full-service online travel provider* and since year two, Expedia.ca has reported the results of their annual Vacation Deprivation® Survey, this year conducted by Northstar. Each year, the Expedia.ca Vacation Deprivation Survey reveals the number of unused vacation days Canadians have accumulated. According to this year's survey, Canadians will receive an average of 17 vacation days from employers – an increase of one additional day over 2014 – but will take only 15.5 of those days. That represents close to 10 million unused vacation days by Canadians this year alone.

In fact, since the inception of the Vacation Deprivation Survey in 2003, Canadians have collectively left more than 350 million vacation days on the table, resulting in an overwhelming $53 billion (CDN) in wages handed back to employers. "For the past 13 years, the survey has uncovered an undeniable trend – Canadians are not living up to our friends across the pond when it comes to taking vacation," said Christopher Day, Senior Marketing Director for Expedia Canada. "Unsurprisingly, a staggering number of Canadians (53 per cent) continue to consider themselves vacation deprived."

WORK HARD, WORK HARD

For nearly a third of Canadians (32 per cent) work schedules topped the list of reasons for leaving vacation days on the table, followed closely by saving for other obligations such as a house, tuition, or paying off debt (29 per cent), and personal and family schedules ranked third at 24 per cent. The survey also revealed that more than one million Canadians have not taken a vacation in over 15 years and more than 1.4 million Canadians have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.

"Over the years, we've noticed some recurring reasons as to why Canadians aren't taking full advantage of their allotted vacation time. Commonly, it's because things such as looking after family and focusing on their careers have taken priority," said Beverly Beuermann-King, stress and wellness expert, who has been associated with the program since 2003. "And, while investing in our jobs and families is important, so is investing in our physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, taking time off for yourself can often result in improved relationships with others and greater productivity."

VACATION EDUCATION

In order to get to the root of the vacation deprivation phenomenon, Expedia.ca conducted a search for some of Canada's most vacation-deprived individuals and surprised three pairs of deserving Canadians who hadn't travelled in 15 years with an all-expense paid vacation to the countries that have proven time and time again to be the leaders in taking all of their allotted vacation time – Spain, Denmark and France. While Canadians take approximately 15 vacation days per year, people in these European countries take nearly double that amount – 30. 

"For the past 15 years, Expedia.ca has proudly been Canada's vacation advocate and booking expert. Year after year, our survey has revealed that Canadians continue to be plagued with vacation deprivation," said Christopher Day. "So this year, instead of simply telling Canadians what they are missing out on, Expedia.ca wanted to show them first hand. That's why we took our Vacation Deprivation Survey to the next level with Vacation Education, seeking out Canada's most vacation deprived and sending them to the three countries that understand the value of taking time off to travel most."

Adam, 36 and Seija, 28 - Thunder Bay, ON

Adam and Seija, a hardworking couple from Thunder Bay, Ontario, put travel — and pretty much everything  else — on the back burner in order to provide for their kids. Expedia.ca was so happy to help them by sending them to one of the most romantic places in the world, Paris, for the honeymoon they never had.

"I dream big and I want the best things for my family. We always thought that one day we would get around to travelling, but we never expected this," said Adam Nousiainen. "What we learned from this trip is that Europeans know how to relax and you have to make time for yourselves. We can't wait to show our kids that there is a huge world out there to explore and learn from."

Luiza, 47 and Alicia, 17 - Markham, ON

Luiza lives in Markham, Ontario, with her teenage daughter Alicia. She spent most of her life in Romania before coming to Canada and since the day she arrived, she has worked tirelessly to educate herself and become a financial advisor, while raising her daughter as a single parent. Since she immigrated to Canada 15 years ago, Luiza hadn't been on a plane and her daughter had never left the GTA.  Moreover, neither one of them owned a passport. Expedia.ca sent them to beautiful Majorca, the Spanish island renowned for its beaches, its food and its people, so that they could a gain new perspective.

"Throughout my daughter's childhood, I spent all of my time trying to make sure she had everything she needed. Going to Spain gave us a new perspective on the culture there. It's really important to travel so you learn new things and you're not just adapted to one culture," said Luiza Grant.

Jayson, 33 and Kam, 31 - Kamloops, BC

Jayson and Kam are a young couple from Kamloops, British Columbia. They'd been so consumed with saving for a house that travel was simply not a priority. They're young and open to new experiences so Expedia.ca sent them to one of the cultural capitals of the world — Copenhagen, Denmark.

"For us, our priorities were to buy a house and start a family. We daydreamed about it, but travel just fell to the wayside. This trip taught us so much in such a short time. Maybe we don't need to follow that cookie-cutter path in life," said Jayson Baines.

The Vacation Education journeys of Adam and Seija, Luiza and Alicia, and Jayson and Kam were documented as they learned about the value of taking time off to travel from the people in the countries that do it best. To view their journeys, visit youtube.com/ExpediaCA.

In order to extend the Vacation Education opportunity to even more vacation-deprived Canadians, Expedia.ca is hosting their biggest sale of the year and offering customers the chance to win their vacation.  To check it out, visit: Expedia.ca/15AnniversarySale

VACATION DEPRIVATION – KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

  • Since the inception of the Vacation Deprivation Survey in 2003, Canadians have collectively left more than 350 million vacation days on the table, resulting in $53 billion (CDN) in wages handed back to employers. That represents an average of more than 26 million unused vacation days and more than $4 billion in wages each year.
  • On average, Canadians receive 17 vacation days a year but only take 15.5 of them. A third (32 per cent) say they do not use all their vacation days because their work schedule makes it challenging to plan for vacation.
  • Over half (52 per cent) of Canadians say they are vacation deprived versus 48 per cent last year. Sixty-six per cent say it is because they did not get enough vacation days this year while a third (34 per cent) say it is because they do not get to take all their vacation days.
  • More than one million Canadians have not taken a vacation in over 15 years and more than 1.4 million Canadians have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.
  • Seventy-two per cent of Canadians associate vacationing with their overall happiness. In fact, 78 per cent agree that they feel energized and excited before they leave for vacation.
  • Canadians believe vacationing provides health benefits. Forty per cent say feeling less stressed and relaxed is what they have experienced as a result of a vacation. Thirty-six per cent say they are simply happier after a vacation.
  • As expected, the top tech tool Canadians take on vacation is their smartphone (67 per cent), followed by a little over a third taking their laptops (38 per cent) and tablets (36 per cent) on vacation.
  • Six out of 10 Canadians stay connected by checking their personal emails while on vacation. Almost half stay connected through calling and texting their family and friends.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia.ca by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm, among 1,001 Canadian adults aged 18 and older who are employed or self-employed. Surveys were completed between September 11th and September 22nd, 2015. Sampling quotas and post-hoc data weighting were used to ensure the sample is representative of employed Canadians in terms of age, gender and region. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

ABOUT EXPEDIA.CA

Expedia.ca is the nation's most-visited full-service online travel provider. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia.ca offers the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, and travel insurance. Expedia customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response.

Follow Expedia.ca on FacebookTwitterGoogle + and download the free Expedia Mobile App.

Expedia, Expedia.ca, Vacation Deprivation and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S.  Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2015 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-5030    

 * Source: comScore Media Metrix, Canada, Online Travel Agents category

SOURCE Expedia.ca

Video with caption: "Vacation Education - Expedia.ca 15th Anniversary". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg6HrP7dqO4

Image with caption: "Adam and Seija Nousiainen – France (CNW Group/Expedia.ca)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151002_C6581_PHOTO_EN_512384.jpg

Image with caption: "Kam Johal and Jayson Baines – Denmark (CNW Group/Expedia.ca)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151002_C6581_PHOTO_EN_512386.jpg

For further information: Rebecca Feigelsohn, Veritas Communications, Feigelsohn@veritasinc.com, 416-725-5039; Ryan Blanchard, Veritas Communications, Blanchard@veritasinc.com, 416-646-1843


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