There's No Place Like…An Exotic Destination For The Holidays?

-- Expedia.ca survey reveals half of Canadians would swap ‘home for the holidays’ for an exotic trip --

TORONTO, ON – November 29, 2004 – If they knew no one’s feelings would be hurt by the news, 52 per cent of Canadians would shout “I won’t be home for the holidays!”, trading a traditional visit home for a more exotic vacation. In addition, a recent Expedia.ca™/Ipsos-Reid survey revealed travel is high on Canucks’ holiday lists this year with 70 per cent of Canadians planning trips this festive season – up from 54 per cent last year.
“Canadians clearly have travel on their holiday shopping list this year and it’s hard to imagine a gift that will provide as many long lasting memories as a trip with friends and family,” says Sean Shannon, Managing Director, Expedia Canada. “What better remedy for a season of busy activities than to relax and get away from it all!”
So, who most deserves the gift of travel this holiday season? Why, the respondents themselves of course! Canadians embrace Scrooge as their role model when it comes to giving travel as a gift since half (51 per cent) chose themselves and their spouse or partner as the most deserving recipients. Twenty-five per cent of Canucks believe their parents deserve a getaway, perhaps for their years of domestic duties and only one per cent of Canadians feel their boss deserves the gift of travel for all the hard work they put in during the year.
Of those planning to travel this holiday season, 38 per cent will vacation within Canada, 20 per cent will vacation south of the border to the United States and 42 per cent will travel beyond either of these two countries.
Connected Canadians buy more travel online
Booking vacations online is more popular than ever, with 38 per cent of respondents saying they have booked or paid for trips online in the past two years, up from 33 per cent in November 2003 and 26 per cent in November 2002.
“More and more Canadians are looking to well-known and trusted sites like Expedia.ca when it comes to fulfilling their travel needs – and Expedia.ca tops that list,” says Shannon. “Expedia.ca empowers Canadians to plan and purchase the perfect vacation to suit their needs – whether it’s a trip down south or a visit back home.”

Gift wrap your travel package!
For many, the holidays are a time to spend, but it’s also a great opportunity to save by booking your Yule-time trip as a package and bundling hotel, flight, car rentals and in-destination options together with the Expedia® Holiday Maker.
In fact, booking package vacations on Expedia.ca can result in significant savings versus buying the flight and hotel separately. In October 2004, Canadians saved an average of $132 to a variety of destinations, by bundling their travel items together.
“Expedia.ca makes it so easy to custom-create and book your dream package,” says Shannon. “With just a few clicks, travelers can create their perfect trip and have peace of mind knowing that all they have to do is relax and enjoy!”
So what dream vacation package would Canadians most like to take if given the choice?

  • Twenty-nine per cent would bask in European luxury, with a holiday package including a first-class flight to Paris, a stay in a luxury hotel and a cruise on the Seine;
  • Twenty-seven per cent would fulfill their tropical desires by booking a package to a Caribbean island with secluded beaches;
  • Eighteen per cent would create a package filled with family fun, including a flight to Florida, a stay at a wonderful hotel and tickets to Walt Disney World;
  • Fifteen per cent would opt to explore classic Canadiana with a package including a flight to Halifax, a scenic road trip on the Cabot Trail and stops at quaint local lodges;
  • And finally, seven per cent of Canadians are high rollers, hankering for a flight to Las Vegas, a stay at the Bellagio and a luxury sports car for the weekend.

Have Loonie, will travel
The strong dollar is also a great incentive for Canadians to travel, with almost half (46 per cent) of respondents stating they’d be more likely to travel outside of Canada this holiday season or in 2005 because of it.
Residents of Alberta are the most likely Canadians to travel outside of the country because of the strong dollar (54 per cent), followed by Saskatchewan/Manitoba residents (52 per cent), Ontarians (50 per cent), British Columbians (46 per cent), Atlantic Canadians (43 per cent) and residents of Quebec (37 per cent).
About the survey findings
These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of Expedia.ca between November 9th and November 11th, 2004. The telephone survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,000 Canadians. 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 population of Canadians been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

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, insurance, destination activities 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 more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Amy Gillespie/Melissa Graham at Edelman
(416) 979-1120
melissa.graham@edelman.com

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