Nearly one-half of Canadians expected to travel outside Canada this holiday season, Expedia.ca survey reveals

U.S. tops list of international holiday travel destinations, while travel within Canada continues to be popular

TORONTO, ON – December 5, 2007 – A new Expedia.ca/Ipsos-Reid survey reveals 45 per cent of Canadians plan to travel outside the country this holiday season. Nearly two in 10 Canadians plan to travel to the United States, followed by “southern destinations other than the U.S.” and “another part of the world,” both at 13 per cent. A full one quarter of Canadians plan to travel within Canada, either within their own province or to destinations in other provinces. And when it comes to U.S. and international travel, Canadians are more prepared for jet-setting given travel regulations – 57 per cent say they have a passport and, of those who don’t yet have one, 38 per cent are planning to get one for themselves, compared to last year’s survey reporting 50 per cent of Canadians with a passport.

“With a strong loonie in their pockets, Canadians are on the move this holiday season,” says Sean Shannon, managing director of Expedia.ca. “We expect hotspots for Canadians this holiday season to be increasingly-affordable U.S. sun destinations like Florida, California and Arizona, ever-popular sun destinations like Mexico, Jamaica and Dominican Republic and places for fun winter activities here at home.”

Who’s taking advantage of the high dollar?
Since January 23, 2007, the United States has required Canadians travelling by air to carry a passport, and the same restriction will be in place for land and sea travellers by mid-2008 (1). When it comes to Canadians with passports, Albertans and Ontarians seem to have their documents in hand: 67 per cent of Albertans and 64 per cent of Ontarians currently have a passport. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are perhaps the least prepared to travel outside of the country with just 45 per cent indicating they have a passport.

Turning travel daydreams into reality
Many Canadians have their heads in the clouds – and travel tops the list of things they daydream about. “Taking a trip and getting away from it all” was chosen by 75 per cent of Canadians, comparable to money (73 per cent), and beating out more free time (42 per cent), sex (40 per cent), shopping (24 per cent), food (19 per cent) and fame at 12 per cent. Women (80 per cent) were more likely to daydream about travel compared to men at 70 per cent.

Of all the provinces, Ontarians, at 23 per cent, are the most likely to travel to the U.S. this holiday season. British Columbians are not far behind at 20 per cent. Fourteen per cent of Quebecers are planning to go to the U.S. while another 19 per cent of these well-known snow birds are planning to go to a southern destination outside of the U.S.

Thinking about the strong performance of the dollar, four in 10 Canadians say that a trip to a tropical hot spot would be most appealing. For three in 10, a trip to Europe is the most appealing trip to take advantage of the strong dollar and 14 per cent feel New York is the best place to take advantage of sales and a flush pocketbook. Not surprisingly for those who like a bit of excitement and entertainment, Las Vegas tops the list for one out of nine respondents.

Winter travel by the numbers

  • Quebecers are the most likely to travel within their own province at 21 per cent and most likely to visit a southern destination other than the U.S. at 19 per cent.
  • British Columbians are most likely to travel to another part of the world at 19 per cent.
  • Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are the least likely to plan a trip within their province – only 4 per cent compared with the national average of 15 per cent.
  • Atlantic Canadians and Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are most likely to travel to another Canadian province this holiday season; at 24 per cent, they far exceed the national average of 11 per cent.

Hot Holiday Sales this Season
Starting December 17, the Escape Winter Sale will offer tremendous savings to popular destinations like Mexico, Caribbean Florida, Hawaii, California and more. Other upcoming winter deals include:

  • Save 20 per cent off California hotels and get a free room upgrade, only on Expedia.ca – book by Dec. 21
  • Check out the ski store, the all-in-one booking tool that helps skiers find the perfect ski package

Visit www.expedia.ca for more deals this holiday season.

About the survey
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Expedia.ca from Nov 6 to Nov 8, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

About Expedia.ca
Expedia Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Expedia, Inc., operates Canada’s most visited full-service online travel service, Expedia.ca. 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, trip insurance and mapping information. 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.ca, Expedia 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.

© 2007 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

(1) Taken from the U.S. Department of State’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative website, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html


 

For more information or to schedule an interview with Sean Shannon, please contact:

Niki Hirschmann
Edelman
416.979.1120 x 242
niki.hirschmann@edelman.com

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