Canadians conservative on planning summer trips early compared to Americans, but strong summer travel season still expected

Income tax refunds may be the reason - four in ten Canadians likely to put a tax refund towards a trip this summer

TORONTO, May 2 /CNW/ - With summer around the corner, many Canadians still appear to be waiting to make their summer travel plans, while Americans plan to book earlier than last year. According to a recent Expedia.ca/Ipsos- Reid survey, one-third (34 per cent) of Canadians are already planning a trip this summer, not including cottage visits and visits to family members. And yet, half (51 per cent) of Canadians expect to travel as much or more this summer as they did in summer 2005 - a very strong travel period - suggesting that perhaps some Canadians are waiting to make their summer travel plans.

The Canadian survey results differ from a recent American Harris Interactive survey that found an overwhelming majority of American travellers are planning and booking summer vacations earlier this year. And while Americans are booking sooner, some Canadians may be waiting to get their income tax refund in the mail - nearly four in ten (37 per cent) of Canadians answered that they would be likely to put a tax refund towards a summer trip."Normally, based on our past booking patterns, Canadians often wait until late spring or early summer to book their summer vacation,"said Sean Shannon, managing director, Expedia.ca."This year they would be smart to book sooner to lock in their preferred destinations - abroad to Europe, the U.S. and leading Canadian summer destinations like Vancouver or Montreal."

Take a Trip on the"Taxman"

In the midst of tax filing season, Canadians were asked how likely they would be to use $1,100, the equivalent of the average Canadian's tax refund, towards a vacation or weekend getaway this summer. Nearly four in ten (37 per cent) Canadians say they would be likely to use this money on travel, and that number bumps up to more than half (55 per cent) among Canadians who are already planning a trip this coming summer. As of May 1, $1,100 is enough to book a week-long vacation at Expedia.ca to the Whistler Village Inn and Suites in British Columbia or the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu on the St. Lawrence river near Quebec City, Quebec.

Canada Still No. 1 Vacation Destination Despite Stronger Dollar

Among Canadians planning on taking a trip this coming summer - excluding visits to the cottage or to family members - Canada is the preferred destination. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents will be taking a pleasure trip to another province while another 33 per cent will travel within their own province. This preference for home-grown travel destinations is notable considering the recent increase in value of the Canadian dollar.

The summer travel survey also revealed that:

  • Sixteen per cent of intended travellers will be travelling to the United States
  • Canadians are varied international travellers - one in five (20 per cent) will be going to other destinations, with Europe being the most popular of these at 6 per cent
  • Caught the travel bug? Three quarters (77 per cent) of anticipated summer travellers plan to travel the same or more than last summer
  • Summer travellers plan to take an average of 1.9 trips; 44 per cent plan to take two or more trips while 16 per cent plan to take three or more trips



American Travellers Booking Summer Vacations Sooner

According to a Harris Interactive survey conducted in April 2006, the vast majority of American adults planning to travel this summer have already booked or will book their travel plans at least one month in advance. Meanwhile, the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) said one in every three U.S. travellers is planning travel earlier this year than they did in 2005, with many already committed to plans for their longest summer trip.

City Breaks Emerge as Canadian Travel Trend

Expedia.ca has observed a rise in Canadians taking City Breaks, where travellers take a 3-4 day trip to major North American cities like Chicago or Vancouver. Canadians are showing strong interest in City Breaks, with 51 per cent indicating that it would be an"appealing"vacation option. According to the survey, nearly half (45 per cent) of Canadians intending to travel this summer took a City Break in summer 2005. More information on City Breaks, and the inaugural Expedia City Break Sale can be found at www.expedia.ca.

About the Survey

Ipsos-Reid

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid/Expedia.ca survey conducted from April 4 to April 6, 2006. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within (+/-) 3.1 per centage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian 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 the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

Harris Interactive Harris Interactive(R) fielded the online U.S. survey on behalf of Expedia.com between April 5-7, 2006, among a nationwide sample of 2,327 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. Sampling error of the overall results is plus or minus 3 per centage points. This online sample is not a probability sample.

About Expedia Canada Corp.

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 is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI).

For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact Lisa Bruce, Edelman, (416) 979-1120 ext. 313, lisa.bruce@edelman.com

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