Canadians Work Hard and Hardly Play Reveals 2nd Annual Vacation Deprivation Survey

-- Holidays essential to healthy relationships, yet four in ten put holiday on standby --
TORONTO, ON – August 16, 2004 – A whopping 91 per cent of Canadians who have ever taken a vacation agree that time away together enables friends, family and loved ones to reconnect; yet, more Canadians are skipping holidays and spending extra time holed up at work. According to a recent™/Ipsos-Reid poll, vacation deprivation is on the rise, with four in ten employed Canadians (38 per cent) not taking all of their yearly allotted vacation days. Besides indicating an imbalance between personal and professional time, this also represents approximately $8 billion 1 being handed back to employers in unused holidays each year.
Last year’s poll found that 33 per cent of employed Canadians reported that they weren’t accessing all of their vacation time. This year that number has increased to 38 per cent. While Canadians undoubtedly see the value and benefits of holidays, it’s clear they need to practice what they preach.
“Canadians are hard working by nature, and more hours spent on the job often means less quality time with family, friends and loved ones,” says trip expert Beverly Beuermann-King. “Vacations are important because they encourage escapism and play, allowing individuals to reconnect away from the stresses associated with everyday life.”
Work hard, play harder – it can bring you closer
While 91 per cent of Canadian vacationers believe that taking vacations with the important people in their lives creates closer relationships, a full one third of Canadians (33 per cent) did not take time for holidays with close family and friends within the last year.
Residents of Quebec (73 per cent) are the most likely in the country to have made time for vacation with friends and family within the last year, while residents from Atlantic Canada (58 per cent) are the least likely to have taken holidays with loved ones during this timeframe.
Live to work, or work to live?
All work and no play is making many Canadians vacation-deprived. In fact, four in ten working Canucks (38 per cent) are not using all of their vacation time during the year, and 76 per cent of these workers typically have up to 14 holidays left over at the end of the year.
So, which provinces’ populations are the most vacation-deprived?

  • Turns out, there’s a holiday drought in the prairies, since 58 per cent of employed Albertans do not use all of their vacation time during the year.
  • Hardworking Ontarians, Saskatchewanians, and Manitobans are also amongst the most vacation-deprived in the country. Forty per cent of workers in Ontario and 38 per cent in Manitoba/Saskatchewan are not taking all of their allotted holidays.
  • Workers in Quebec are the least vacation-deprived (28 per cent); however, this still means one third do not access all of their holidays each year.

The great escape
Even though many Canadians aren’t taking all of their vacation time each year, the vast majority of workers do believe it is important to use up every outstanding holiday. In fact, 93 per cent of Canucks think that accessing all of one’s vacation days is important to managing stress.
So what are the benefits of taking vacation? Almost half of Canadians (46 per cent) report that they feel refreshed and ready to go back to work at the end of their holidays, while 35 per cent of workers feel relaxed, even though they do not look forward to returning to the office.
“To truly benefit from vacation it’s important that people use all of their allotted time,” adds Beuermann-King. “For most individuals, taking a day here or there isn’t enough to fully relieve built-up stress. Workers need to set up specific periods devoted to relaxation, to release accumulated tension and return to work recharged and ready to go.” to the rescue encourages the vacation-deprived Canadian to turn over a new leaf and take advantage of their unused holidays. By offering Canadian travellers easy and effective planning tools, like Expedia® Holiday Maker, provides quick and easy ways to custom-create and price the right trip for you, including flight, hotel property and even in-destination activities.
“We know Canadians want better balance in their lives, but too many people still aren’t taking the time away from work they’ve earned to allow themselves to recharge and renew,” says Sean Shannon, Managing Director at “We also know that sometimes people can’t find time to plan their vacation and end up putting it off. By offering easy, convenient and flexible vacation tools, allows Canadians to get exactly the trip they want quickly and easily.”
About the survey
These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted from June 22nd to June 24th, 2004. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1,000 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.


Expedia Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Expedia, Inc., 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, insurance, destination activities and mapping information. 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).

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