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



    
    -- 38 per cent of British Columbians identify themselves as
    vacation deprived --
    

    VANCOUVER, May 12 /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. While British Columbians receive more than the national
average number of vacation days (19.33), 38 per cent identify themselves as
being vacation deprived, giving back 2.04 days of unused vacation time, which
is more than the national average.
    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.
    "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, many British Columbians (43 per
cent) feel it's important to put their money into savings. However, British
Columbians continue to see the value in vacations with 83 per cent still
planning on travelling this year for vacation purposes. And even 17 per cent
of BC residents' 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). And while 13 per cent of Canadians said that their work is their
life and they are too busy to get away, this is more evident among BC
employees with 14 per cent saying that their work is their life. Perhaps
taking the term 'guilt trip' too literally, 29 per cent of employed British
Columbians saying they feel guilty about taking time off work. In fact, 17 per
cent of BC residents 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 British Columbians do manage to get away, it seems some may
have trouble escaping their workplace woes as the survey found that 35 per
cent admitted they have trouble coping with stress from work during the
vacation cycle. However, regardless of potential workplace worries, BC
residents recognize the inherent benefits vacations have on their personal
well-being and will continue to get away this year. Many British Columbians
(48 per cent) say they return from vacations feeling better about their jobs
and feeling more productive, and 60 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 Canadians using a chunk of their vacation
        days for obligations, there is an opportunity for BC residents to
        take advantage of 'power weekends' - currently only six per cent plan
        on using the Friday and Monday as designated days off for a four-day
        getaway. Another eight per cent plan to take a day off from time to
        time instead of taking a longer break.

    -   Business, pleasure or both? Nearly 69 per cent of employed BC
        residents travel for business. Of these, more than half (51 per cent)
        have combined business with pleasure - tacking on extra days to work
        trips to explore their destinations.

    -   Time off - but for how long? 28 per cent of employed BC residents
        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 British Columbians,
        66 per cent plan to travel by car, 60 per cent plan to travel by
        plane and only seven per cent plan to travel by train.

    -   Battle of the sexes - Canadian men report receiving more vacation
        days than Canadian 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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