Vacation Deprivation Continues but Albertans Still Value Vacations in Today's Economy, Expedia.ca Survey Finds



    
    -- 35 per cent of Albertans identify themselves as vacation deprived --
    

    CALGARY, May 13 /CNW/ - Today, Expedia.ca announced the results of its
seventh annual Vacation Deprivation(TM) survey conducted by Harris/Decima,
revealing that almost one quarter (24 per cent) of employed Canadians report
not taking all of their vacation days. Despite receiving an average of 18.7
vacation days, this year Canadians will give back an average of 2.03 days of
unused vacation time to their employers. This translates into 34 million
untaken days in Canada overall and about $6.03 billion (CDN) in wages handed
back to employers. According to the survey, Alberta residents receive the most
vacation days per year (21.28) but the bad new is they also give back the most
days of unused vacation time (2.81), compared to other provinces.
    The survey also revealed that Canadians are feeling even more vacation
deprived this year compared to last, with 42 per cent of employed Canadians
saying that they are very or somewhat vacation deprived, up from 33 per cent
in 2008. Despite the fact that Albertans receive the most amount of vacation
days per year, 35 per cent of Albertans still identify themselves as being
vacation deprived.
    "The stress associated with the current economy and impact on the
workplace makes the need for time away from work even more important," said
Beverly Beuermann-King, stress and wellness expert. "Vacation Deprivation is a
condition that continues to affect Canadians across the country and it's
essential for Canadians to invest in their health by taking a break and
getting away."

    Workplace Stress Mounting in Today's Economy

    Because of the current economic climate, more than half of Albertans (52
per cent) feel it is important to put their money into savings. However,
Albertans continue to see the value in vacations with a staggering 94 per cent
still planning on travelling this year for vacation purposes. And even 25 per
cent of Albertans feel that they need a vacation now more than ever because of
the stress from the current economy.
    The survey also revealed some common barriers to taking a vacation.
According to the survey, many Canadians work more than 40 hours per week (37
per cent) with 13 per cent saying that their work is their life and are too
busy to get away, this statement holds true for Albertan employees with 13 per
cent saying that their work is their life. Some Albertans are taking the term
'guilt trip' almost literally, with almost one-third (29 per cent) of employed
Albertan residents saying they feel guilty about taking time off work. In
fact, 20 per cent of Albertans attributed their feelings of guilt around
taking a vacation to the current economy. All those guilty feelings can lead
to the Vacation Deprivation condition.
    But even when they do manage to get away, it seems some Canadians may
have trouble escaping their workplace woes as the survey found that more than
one-third of Albertans (35 per cent) admitted they have trouble coping with
stress from work during the vacation cycle. However, regardless of potential
workplace worries, Albertans recognize the inherent benefits vacations have on
their personal well-being and will continue to get away this year. Almost half
of Albertans (47 per cent) say they return from vacations feeling better about
their jobs and feeling more productive, and two-thirds (66 per cent) feel
rejuvenated and reconnected to their personal life after taking vacations.

    
    Additional Findings around Canadians Vacation Habits

    -   For me or not for me? Canadians have taken, or plan to take, an
        average of 8.61 of their vacation days for obligations including
        weddings, family events/obligations, religious observances, medical
        appointments and more. With Albertans using a chunk of their vacation
        days for obligations, there is opportunity to take advantage of
        'power weekends' - currently only four per cent plan on using the
        Friday and Monday as designated days off for a 4-day getaway. While
        four per cent plan to take a day off from time to time instead of
        taking a longer break.

    -   Business, pleasure or both? More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of
        employed Albertans travel for business. Of these, more than half (56
        per cent) have combined business with pleasure - tacking on extra
        days to work trips to explore their destinations.

    -   Time off - but for how long? 35 per cent of employed Albertans plan
        to take the traditional full week off and spread out the remaining
        days.

    -   Under the weather - On top of their vacation days, employed Canadians
        take an average of 2.78 sick days per year. Women take more sick days
        than men (3.17 days vs. 2.42 days). Older Canadians (55+) take fewer
        sick days than those 54 and under (1.63 days vs. 3.06 days).

    -   Planes, trains or automobiles? - Among all Albertans, 69 per cent
        plan to travel by car, 75 per cent plan to travel by plane and only
        four per cent plan to travel by train.

    -   Battle of the sexes - Men report receiving more vacation days than
        women (20.4 days vs. 16.86 days). Since men are given more vacation
        days, they are able to take more - men are taking an average of 18.28
        vacation days each year, while women are taking 14.93 days.

    Which Province is the Most Vacation Deprived?
    

    The survey revealed that Ontarians (47 per cent) are the most likely to
identify themselves as vacation deprived, followed by those living in Manitoba
and Saskatchewan (45 per cent), Atlantic Canadians (43 per cent), British
Columbians (38 per cent), Quebecers (38 per cent) and Albertans (35 per cent).
Residents of Alberta give back an average of 2.81 days, followed by residents
of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (2.80), Atlantic Canadians (2.21), British
Columbians (2.04), Ontarians (1.99) and Quebecers (1.39).

    Make Vacation Deprivation Vanish!

    The answer to treating Vacation Deprivation condition is through travel
this summer with Expedia.ca's Summer Somewhere Else Sale. Book your dream
summer vacation now and take advantage of the savings with up to 30 per cent
off select hotels in Canada, USA, Europe, Latin America, The Caribbean,
Asia-Pacific and select resorts!

    Survey Methodology(*)

    Harris/Decima completed 2,019 online surveys among a random sample of
Harris/Decima panel members aged 18 and older, among which 1,330 are employed.
The study was conducted between March 24th to March 30th, 2009.
    This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima's
Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email
addresses from their panel were pulled at random, according to population and
gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the
Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit
participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of
the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to
ensure that respondents can participate only one time. Subsequent to
completion of the study, the data was weighted for region, age, gender, and
propensity to be online.

    About Expedia.ca

    Expedia, Inc. operates Canada's most visited full-service online travel
service, Expedia.ca(TM). To help Canadians plan and purchase travel,
Expedia.ca provides the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car
and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises,
trip insurance and traveller-authored content. Expedia.ca customers are
supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a
week via a toll-free number and email response. Expedia, Expedia.ca, Vacation
Deprivation and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in Canada and/or other countries. Other logos or
product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their
respective owners.

    
    (C) 2009 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

    (*)Comparison of the some of the findings to previous years should be
    interpreted with caution because of the change in survey supplier.
    However, every effort has been made to maintain the same methodology and
    market research standards.
    





For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview with stress and
wellness specialist, Beverly Beuermann-King, please contact: Stella Mok,
Stephanie Marton, Edelman, (416) 979-1120 x 267, 314, stella.mok@edelman.com,
stephanie.marton@edelman.com


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