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



    - Two in five working Canadians feel they need more vacation time -

    TORONTO, 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.
    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 Canadians (43 per cent)
feel it is important to put their money into savings. However, Canadians
continue to see the value in vacations with 84 per cent still planning on
travelling this year for vacation purposes. And even one-in-five (18 per cent)
Canadians feel that they need a vacation now more than ever because of the
stress from the current economy.
    However, 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. And taking the term 'guilt trip' almost literally,
one-third (30 per cent) of employed Canadians say they feel guilty about
taking time off work. In fact, 17 per cent of Canadians 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 nearly
one-third of Canadians (32 per cent) admitted they have trouble coping with
stress from work during the vacation cycle. However, regardless of potential
workplace worries, Canadians recognize the inherent benefits vacations have on
their personal well-being and will continue to get away this year. Many
Canadians (41 per cent) say they return from vacations feeling better about
their jobs and feeling more productive, and more than half (54 per cent) feel
rejuvenated and reconnected to their personal life after taking vacations.

    Additional Findings around Canadian 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 opportunity to take advantage of
        'power weekends' - currently only one-in-ten (7 per cent) plan on
        using the Friday and Monday as designated days off for a 4-day
        getaway. Another 7 per cent plan to take a day off from time to time
        instead of taking a longer break.

    -   Business, pleasure or both? Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of
        employed Canadians travel for business. Of these, almost half
        (45 per cent) have combined business with pleasure - tacking on extra
        days to work trips to explore their destinations.

    -   Time off - but for how long? 31 per cent of employed Canadians plan
        to take the traditional full week off and spread out the remaining
        days (up from 29 per cent in 2008), while 39 per cent take two full
        weeks of vacation (up from 37 per cent in 2008).

    -   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 Canadians, 65 per cent
        plan to travel by car, 51 per cent plan to travel by plane and only
        9 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: Stephanie
Marton/Stella Mok, Edelman, (416) 979-1120 x 314/267,
stephanie.marton@edelman.com/stella.mok@edelman.com

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