Conservative Canucks suffer from “repressed excitement” when it comes to European travel, survey reveals

-- Thrill-seeking celebrities Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise top list for European dream vacation partner, convention rules when selecting the venue --
TORONTO, ON – March 30, 2005 – You could call it the Canadian Travel Personality Profile Paradox. Canadians are often stereotyped as “nice”, “polite” and “conservative.” Perhaps it’s little surprise that when asked in a recent Expedia.ca™/Ipsos-Reid poll to choose from a list of four ultimate European dream vacation options, 80 per cent of Canadians dream of a traditional holiday, choosing to sight-see or immerse themselves in historical culture (40 per cent respectively). A mere 10 and four per cent respectively would long for a thrill-seeking adventure, or a trendy European vacation.

And while Canadians take a traditional approach to European vacations, it’s also clear they long to add more excitement to their travels by putting action stars Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise at the top of the list (16 per cent and 12 per cent respectively) of celebrities with whom they’d most like to share the ultimate European dream vacation.

“Canadians appear quite conventional on the surface, but their choice of travelling partners reveals they clearly long for excitement and adventure when it comes to the dream partner with whom they’d like to travel,” says psychologist Marie-Claude Lamarche. “Perhaps Canadians suffer from a case of repressed excitement when it comes to evaluating their travel options.”

Travel Profiling
In partnership with Lamarche, Expedia.ca developed four travel personality profiles, defined below, in order to categorize Canadians’ travel preferences and desires:

 

  • Conventional: leisurely sightseeing, enjoying city bus tours, visiting local restaurants or taking in a popular show (40 per cent)
  • Countries Connoisseur: immersion in culture, visiting historical sites, national museums, and galleries, exploring little-known corners off the beaten-track or trying local delicacies (40 per cent)
  • Thrill seeker: having your adrenaline pumping from trekking in high altitudes or skiing the slopes (10 per cent)
  • Cosmopolitan: shopping at all the hot spots, eating at the trendiest restaurants and people watching (4 per cent)

Family Ties Bind Canadians
In keeping with our stereotype of sticking to the “tried and true,” an overwhelming number of Canadians enjoy travelling with their immediate family, with four out of five (79 per cent) choosing family over friends for travelling companions on their European dream vacation.

Other regional findings:

  • Even though they are close in geography, the residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan/ Manitoba feel differently about spending vacation time with their family. Albertans are the most likely (83 per cent) to choose a family member with whom to share their trip compared to Saskatchewan/Manitoba residents at just 71 per cent.
  • One in four (24 per cent) residents from Saskatchewan and Manitoba would most prefer to vacation with their friends – the most likely in the countryside.

Repressed Dreams?
“It would seem that Canadians have realistic, attainable dreams when it comes to the ultimate European dream vacation – in terms of destination, vacation type and family members as travel companions – but their choice in a celebrity sidekick suggests otherwise,” says Lamarche. “This may imply that, despite the semblance of contentment, we do still fantasize about the thrills that could be enjoyed with an exciting travel companion like Angelina Jolie or Tom Cruise.”

Surprisingly, from the list of options that included Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Zeta Jones, Roy Dupuis and Caroline Neron, 29 per cent of Canadians said that they would choose “none of the above.”

Canadians Prefer to Stick to the Road Most Traveled
When it comes to which European region Canadians would most like to visit, Western European countries, including Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands were selected by 19 per cent of Canadians and the United Kingdom/Ireland by (18 per cent).

  • Surprisingly, France was chosen by only 10 per cent of Canadians being slightly beat by Italy (15 per cent) and Greece (14 per cent). Even Quebec residents are just as likely to choose Italy (20 per cent) as compared to France (18 per cent).
  • Central and Eastern European destinations, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, were at the bottom of Canadians’ wish list at just four per cent.

Making Dreams Reality
Expedia.ca is offering Canadians the chance to win their European Dream Vacation. From now through April 29, 2005, travel hopefuls can visit www.expedia.ca/europe for a chance to win one of three European dream vacations, valued at C$5,000. The contest includes a viral campaign; the more people to whom you pass along the contest details, the more chances you have to win your ultimate European dream vacation.

Expedia’s Great European Vacation Sale
“Europe has so much to offer as a travel destination and we pride ourselves on how easy it is for Canadians to customize their European vacation to suit their individual taste and personality,” says Sean Shannon, Managing Director at Expedia.ca. “Whether they want to stay in the heart of Rome or the English countryside, travellers can enjoy big savings right now with Expedia’s Great European Vacation Sale.”

About the survey

The Ipsos-Reid/Expedia.ca poll was conducted from March 8th - 10th, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1002 adult 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 Canadian population been polled. For full tabular results, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Expedia.ca

Expedia Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Expedia, Inc., operates one of Canada’s leading full-service online travel services, 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 arrange an interview, please contact:
Melissa Graham/Scott Tabachnick at Edelman
(416) 979-1120
scott.tabachnick@edelman.com | melissa.graham@edelman.com

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