Majority of Canadians set to travel this holiday season, survey finds

Over six million Canadians have booked travel online in past two years

Toronto, ON - Nov. 8, 2002 - A significant majority (73 per cent) of Canadians plan to travel this holiday season, according to a new Expedia.ca/Ipsos-Reid poll released today. One-third of those surveyed (34 per cent) plan to travel within Canada over the holidays, while 39 per cent expect to travel to the U.S. and beyond. Twenty-two per cent say they do not plan to take a vacation over the holiday season, or never take vacations. The survey also shows that the Internet plays a major role when Canadians research and book travel.

 

"These findings indicate a very positive outlook for the travel industry as a whole, which is very encouraging," says Stuart MacDonald, managing director, Expedia Canada Corp. "Canadians enjoy taking time over the holidays to visit friends and family, and also to get away and recharge their batteries."

An online nation
More than half (56 per cent) of all Canadians have used the Internet in the past two years to research travel information, and more than six million (26 per cent) Canadians 18 years of age or older have used the Internet to book and pay for a vacation in the past two years.

"Canadians are increasingly purchasing travel online, as they discover the control it gives them over their trip planning," says MacDonald. "Expedia.ca empowers Canadians to find and purchase the trip that is right for them, with unique services like the Expedia(R) Holiday Maker, which allows them to custom-create their own vacation."

Staying close to home
Travel within Canada is most popular over the holiday season, according to the survey.

  • One-third of Canadians (34 per cent) will travel within Canada's borders, but a close 27 per cent are taking more exotic excursions to destinations including the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, South America and Asia.
  • Just 12 per cent of Canadians plan to travel to the U.S. over the holidays.

Need a vacation from your vacation?
Perhaps due to the stress often associated with the holiday season, some of us prefer to travel once the mad rush of the holiday season is over.

  • More than 80 per cent of Canadians plan to take a vacation or pleasure trip between January and April 2003.
  • Although 26 per cent intend to vacation within Canada, more than half of respondents (54 per cent) are planning to visit places beyond our own borders, including Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico.

A nation of planners
A majority of Canadians prefer to book their vacations months in advance, with 55 per cent reporting that they do so.

  • Only four per cent of Canadians book vacations days in advance, while 20 per cent prefer to book weeks in advance.
  • Fifteen per cent of Canadians are spontaneous, preferring to book their trip spur of the moment.

Who would Canadians choose to take as a travel companion?
Not surprisingly, comedians are indeed at the heart of Canadians' funny bone, with Jim Carrey topping the list (28 per cent) of named celebrities whom Canadians would most love as a travelling companion.

  • Environmentalist David Suzuki follows closely with 20 per cent, while Pamela Wallin takes third place at 11 per cent.
  • Ron MacLean scored at 10 per cent.
  • José Théodore and Roch Voisine received eight per cent and six per cent, respectively.
  • Despite walking runways around the world, Linda Evangelista rounded out the picks with just four per cent of the votes.

Women want the facts, men want hockey
Despite being a hockey nation, the fan base of Canada's favourite sport is still dominated by the male persuasion.

  • More than twice as many male respondents chose hockey commentator Ron MacLean as their preferred vacation mate than women (14 per cent to six per cent, respectively).
  • Conversely, more women (14 per cent) would prefer to vacation with former journalist and current Consul General to New York, Pamela Wallin, than men (seven per cent).

Canadians dream of a land Down Under
Among a list of exotic destinations, Canadians' number one dream destination is New Zealand, with 36 per cent of respondents preferring the land of the Kiwi to Tahiti (23 per cent); Rio de Janeiro (14 per cent);Thailand (11 per cent); or Kenya (four per cent).

Can't take the heat? Go to Winnipeg!
Canadians really do love winter -- and Winnipeg! The survey revealed that more Canadians would rather visit Manitoba's capital than Kenya (seven per cent and four per cent, respectively).

About the survey findings
The survey was conducted between October 28 and October 31, 2002. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,000 adult 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 adult Canadian population been polled.

About Expedia Canada Corp.

Expedia Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE), operates one of Canada's leading full service online travel agencies, 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 an audited privacy policy, and customer support agents available 24 hours a day/seven days a week via a toll free number and email response.

 


Expedia, Expedia.ca, and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in Canada, the U.S., and/or other countries. Other products and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, please contact:
Amy Gillespie, Edelman Public Relations, (416) 979-1120 ext. 312, amy.gillespie@edelman.com

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