QUEBEC CITY, June 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Summer is once again synonymous with holidays for the CAA-Quebec members surveyed this past May. In fact, 69% of respondents said they will take vacations this summer, compared with 63% of those interviewed in 2012. And vacation times also seem to be getting longer, with 35% of respondents saying they expect to take two weeks, compared with 24% of members surveyed in 2012.
"These figures stand out in comparison to last year, when respondents seemed to show a sense of gloom or indecision regarding their holiday plans," says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Assistant Vice President, Public and Government Relations. "It would appear that the economic uncertainty hovering over us last year is of less concern now to vacationers, who are heading out in larger numbers." The 2013 figures provide evidence of this, with 41% of respondents planning to make five or more trips involving at least one night away from home, compared with 30% in 2012 and 2011.
Quebec is well ahead as a destination, followed by the United States
The destination most favoured by vacationers is the province of Quebec — chosen by 52% of those surveyed. In second place is the U.S. East Coast, selected by 12%. That region does not seem to have declined in popularity, despite the Boston marathon attack. "Each year, Quebec stands out as the place of choice for people going on vacation," Ms. Gagnon notes. "It's true that, with our wide-open spaces, our abundant nature and our many lakes, we have what it takes in terms of getting away from it all. These features seem increasingly popular, with camping making a big comeback."
Fully 21% of respondents said they would be going camping this year, up from 14% in 2012. "Camping is ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy the scenery and engage in outdoor activities without spending a bundle of money," Ms. Gagnon adds. "This may explain the increase in popularity." Vacation budgets remain stable, with 55% of those surveyed estimating that they will spend between $500 and $2,000 on their trips.
Not surprisingly, the automobile continues to be the preferred means of transportation for most respondents, with 76% making this choice. For finding their way around, GPS is the tool favoured by 59% of respondents going by car, while paper documents, such as road maps and TripTik® itineraries, are used by more than one-third of the members surveyed.
Worth knowing: waiting times at customs and new passports
CAA-Quebec reminds travellers that waiting times at border crossings may be longer than previously because of U.S. budget cuts earlier in the year. Questioned about possible delays in entering the U.S. by land or air, 45% of respondents planning to vacation in the U.S. said they would arrive earlier at customs to avoid long lines.
Finally, the new 10-year Canadian passports, to be issued starting this July, already seem to have many fans, with 75% of members surveyed saying they would choose these, despite the $160 pricetag for a 10-year passport, compared to $120 for a five-year document.
The survey was conducted online between May 9 and 26, 2013, among 1,319 CAA-Quebec members. In a random sample of that size, the highest margin of error would be about 2.7%, 19 times out of 20.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1,220,000 members.
For further information:
Public Relations Officer
514 861-7111, ext. 3210
Cell.: 514 717-4040
418 624-2424, ext. 2418
Cell.: 418 580-1633