Pack your bags and check them twice: Expedia.ca/Ipsos-Reid survey says majority of Canadians plan holiday travel

-- 33% of Canadians have booked travel online --

TORONTO, ON - November 25, 2003 - Though the holidays are just around the corner, more than 50 per cent of Canadians won't be hanging stockings on their chimneys with care - they're packing them instead, and preparing for some serious holiday travel, according to a recent Expedia.ca™/Ipsos-Reid poll. The survey found that a majority of Canadians (54 per cent) plan to embark on vacation this holiday season, and that more than half of these travellers will travel outside of Canada. The survey also reveals that booking travel online continues to rise in popularity across the country.

"The survey findings show that many Canadians will take advantage of time off during the upcoming holiday season to travel, whether it be to visit friends and family across the country, or to relax, far away from the stresses associated with every day life," says Stuart MacDonald, managing director, Expedia Canada Corp.

Of those planning to travel this holiday season, 27 per cent will travel to another Canadian province, while 24 per cent will vacation south of the border in the United States. Twenty per cent of Canadians will travel within their own province this holiday season, and 29 per cent will travel beyond either of these two countries.

Connected Canadians buy more travel online
"More Canadians are researching and booking online travel than ever before", says MacDonald. Expedia.ca empowers Canadians to plan and purchase the trip that is right for them, with unique services like the Expedia Holiday Maker, which allows them to custom-create their own vacation."

  • Thirty-three per cent of Canadians have used the Internet to book or purchase travel during the past two years. This figure is up from 26 per cent since Canadians were last asked in an Expedia.ca™/Ipsos-Reid poll released in November 2002.
     
  • Sixty per cent of all Canadians have reported using the Internet in the last two years to research travel destinations. This figure is up from 56 per cent since Canadians were last asked in an Expedia.ca™/Ipsos-Reid poll released in November 2002.

Sumptuous suites top travel wish list
If Canadian vacationers could receive one travel-related present this holiday, 28 per cent would covet the luxury of a hotel room upgrade, from a standard room to a suite. Other wishes on a Canuck's holiday travel list would include a personal guide or assistant for exotic locations or sightseeing (26 per cent), a free dinner at the best or most exclusive restaurant while on holiday (22 per cent), or an air ticket upgrade from coach to first class (19 per cent).

Canucks gone wild
When it comes to letting loose while on vacation, Canadian travellers tend to choose activities that are more mild than wild. According to survey results, the craziest activity Canadian travellers might attempt would be to parasail behind a boat (28 per cent), followed by skinny dipping (19 per cent), tearing up their return ticket (17 per cent), and pretending to be somebody else (7 per cent). However, some provinces' residents are more adventurous than others:

  • Travellers from Manitoba/ Saskatchewan are the most likely in the country to go skinny dipping in a place where they didn't know anyone (22 per cent)
     
  • Quebec travellers are the most likely to act on impulse when really enjoying a vacation, and tear up their return ticket home (24 per cent)

What's your travel planning preference?
Canadians are almost evenly divided when it comes to those who book vacation destinations with set itineraries in advance, or those who are flexible about where and when they go away. According to the survey, half of Canadians (51 per cent) know exactly where and where they want to go on their vacations, while almost half (48 per cent) are open and flexible so long as their general vacation needs are met.

For those who are flexible with their vacation options, Expedia.ca recently introduced a flexible search feature on its popular Expedia® Holiday Maker tool. The flexible search feature allows consumers to select the category of holiday they would like such as Beach or Family vacation, indicate the general date range that they are available to travel, and enter the amount of vacation days they have. Within seconds, customers will have a range of trips on their screen to pick from.

When it comes to the most popular types of vacations to choose, it may not be completely surprising that travellers from the true north strong and free have a penchant for warmer climates. Survey respondents graded their top trip choices as follows:

  • Twenty-seven per cent of Canadians prefer their vacations to be "warm and sunny," while 24 per cent of travellers would love to take a European vacation
     
  • If given the choice, 14 per cent of vacationers would pack up the kids and head on a family destination trip, such as Disney World in Florida
     
  • Where did the love go? Only six per cent of Canadians chose a romantic vacation as their holiday of choice. Finally, three per cent of Canadians can't wait to strike it rich on a Casino holiday.

About the survey findings

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of Expedia.ca between November 10th and November 13th, 2003. The telephone survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1056 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 Canada Corp.

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 and mapping information. Expedia.ca supports all major airline, hotel and car rental loyalty programs, enabling customers to automatically receive points from virtually any chosen travel partner when reserving through Expedia.ca.

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).
 

 


Expedia and Expedia.com are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

For more information, please contact:

Expedia Canada Corp.
Amy Gillespie/ Melinda Hawkins
Edelman
(416) 979-1120 ext. 312/ 313
amy.gillespie@edelman.com
melinda.hawkins@edelman.com

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