All work and no play makes Canadians vacation-deprived, survey says

Workers hand back over $8 billion in unused vacation days

TORONTO, ON – August 15, 2003 – Although "work/life balance" has become a popular buzzword in the Canadian workplace, employees across the country are not living up to this balanced lifestyle. In fact, one-third (33 per cent) of Canadians are not taking all of their allotted vacation days, according to a recent Expedia.caTM/ Ipsos-Reid poll. This represents approximately $8 billion being handed back to employers in unused holidays each year.
"You would think that Canadians would take advantage of their accumulated vacation days throughout the year, but today's employees don't necessarily spend as much time away from work as they'd like," says stress and wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King. "Though workers skip holidays to help support their organization's corporate goals, they can actually increase their productivity by taking some time off and returning refreshed."
And employees across the country aren't just missing out on random days throughout the year, either. According to the survey findings, this one-third of workers miss an average of eight vacation days per annum.
West Coast workers are vacation-deprived
So, which provinces' populations are the most vacation-deprived? Surprisingly, despite their laid-back reputation, 41 per cent of British Columbians do not use up all of their vacation time each year. Though Albertans are at par with the national average (33 per cent) in not accessing their allotted vacation time, a full 19 per cent of the province's workers claim to have no vacation granted at all. Employees from Quebec are the most likely to take advantage of their holidays, according to the survey results, since only 30 per cent of workers across the province report not taking all their vacation time.
"The fact that 41 per cent of British Columbians don't use all of their vacation days points to a definite vacation-deficit," says Beuermann-King. "While residents from Quebec do report the highest percentage of vacation-takers across the country, it's interesting to note that a full one-third of Quebecers still don't take advantage of all of their vacation time."
Conscientious Canucks can't leave work behind
Though the root word of vacation is to "vacate," some Canadians refuse to leave the responsibilities of work completely behind while on holiday. In fact, more than one in three employed Canadians (36 per cent) insist on remaining in contact with work while on vacation by accessing voice mail or e-mail.
"Deadlines and projects don't necessarily disappear while you're away, and it's important to realize that the world won't stop turning while you're on vacation," says Beuermann-King. "There's a growing trend towards remaining "plugged-in" to the office, but placing trust in your colleagues and delegating responsibilities will ensure that the vacation you take provides rest and relaxation." offers solutions for the vacation-deprived
Thankfully, vacation-deprived Canadians have a fast and easy resource to address their need to take time away from work. Expedia® Holiday Maker provides the perfect antidote for the vacation-deprived to custom-create and price their own perfect trip including flight, hotel property and even in-destination activities.
"We know that people desire a better balance between work and life, but our survey results indicate many Canadians still aren't making necessary changes in their work habits," said Stuart MacDonald, Managing Director, Expedia Canada Corp. "By offering easy, convenient and flexible vacation-planning services, is doing everything possible to help our customers put an end to 'Vacation Deprivation' so they can carve out more time for family, friends and themselves."
About the survey findings
The survey was conducted between May 6 and May 8, 2003. 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 services, To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, provides the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination and mapping information. 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 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, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of USA Interactive (NASDAQ: USAI).


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