Despite 72% of Canadians feeling the impact of inflation, Canadian travellers say they plan to travel in 2023 "no matter what"

TORONTO, April 27, 2023 /CNW/ -- Today, Expedia released its 23rd-annual Vacation Deprivation report, finding that global vacation deprivation levels have reached a 10-year high as working adults navigate inflation, workplace labour shortages and busy schedules. Despite these obstacles, a whopping 81% of travellers worldwide plan to take as many—if not more—trips in 2023, pledging to travel "no matter what".

Global vacation deprivation at a ten-year high, Expedia reports

The 2023 report polled more than 14,500 people across 16 countries. Key findings on vacation deprivation in Canada include:

  • 57% of Canadian working adults report that they are vacation deprived, up from last year (55%), and the second highest rate seen in the past 10 years (behind 63% in 2021 when restrictions brought a halt to travel). Gen Z reported the highest levels of vacation deprivation (74%) with Baby Boomers reporting the lowest levels (37%).
  • Globally, more than half of respondents (56%) say their workplace or industry is battling labour shortages, and 54% of Canadians say that staffing infrastructure prevents them from taking time off work. 68% of Canadians wish their companies would change their time-off policies, with 64% agreeing that they would consider changing jobs for the opportunity to have more vacation days.
  • Despite 72% feeling impacted by inflation, Canadians continue to prioritize travel. The majority (72%) also reported that the stress from the economy makes them feel the need for a vacation even more.
  • Despite Canadians seeking less crowded destinations (79%), the non-negotiable trip that Canadians were unwilling to give up is peak summer vacation (41%). In alignment, Expedia flight data shows searches for summer getaways are up 25% year-on-year.
  • New Expedia tools including Price Tracking help vacation-deprived Canadians reclaim their time off, as 61% of Canadians say that they find booking travel stressful in their search to find the best deal.

"Vacation Deprivation is feeling like you don't have enough vacation time but it's a sneakier, more complex syndrome than that," says Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group brands public relations. "Vacation deprivation is also not taking all the vacation time you're entitled to because planning feels overwhelming. Expedia is really focused on making it easier for travellers to go, whether that's through flexible rates, price tracking for flights or member savings." 

To read more, download the global 2023 Vacation Deprivation report here.

Notes to Editor

Visual assets: Destination images, Global Vacation Deprivation report and infographics available for download on request.

Additional findings on the state of Vacation Deprivation in Canada:

  • Millions of Canadian vacation days go unused
    • Nearly half (45%) of Canadians left vacation days on the table in 2022, while many used their vacation days for reasons other than a vacation. Half (50%) of respondents reported taking at least one annual vacation day for errands, 53% reported using at least one day to take care of a sick family member, and 48% reported having to use at least one vacation day when they were sick. On average, parents used 2 vacation days annually in lieu of childcare.
    • Ontario and British Columbia respondents reported the highest levels of vacation deprivation (62%), whereas Manitoba and Saskatchewan reported the lowest levels (48%). Respondents in British Columbia and Quebec estimated taking the most average days in 2022 (30 days), with Alberta respondents estimating they took the least - an average of 7 days in 2022.
  • Workers seeking flexibility from their employers
    • Nine out of ten vacation-deprived Canadians feel that regular vacations are a basic right (90%), and essential to general health and well-being (92%). After taking a vacation, 85% felt refreshed and more motivated to work.
    • While most Canadians (72%) feel that their employers are supportive of them taking time off, almost half (41%) still feel the need to make excuses for taking vacation, and 47% experience guilt over co-workers having to 'pick up the slack'. Overall, the report finds feelings of guilt in the workplace on a steady incline for younger generations with 68% of Gen Z respondents feeling the need for excuses towards time off (compared to 21% for Baby Boomers), and 68% of Gen Z feeling guilty over coworkers having to make up for their absence. (compared to 28% for Baby Boomers).
    • The majority (68%) wish their company would improve its time-off policies or even implement a 4-day work-week (77%), to give them more time for appointments, errands and travel.
    • The 2023 report also examined the impact of unlimited time-off policies, finding that Canadian workers wo receive unlimited time off (12% of respondents) took an additional 8 days off in 2022. They also reported being 19% less vacation deprived than those with a set number of days - a compelling argument for small changes making a large difference in attitudes.
  • Canadians continue to prioritize travel
    • Looking ahead, Canadian travellers seem determined not to let economic worries hold them back this year with 48% reporting they've already booked travel for 2023. This is supported by Expedia flight data that shows searches for summer getaways are up 25% year-on-year.
    • With all this to consider, it's no surprise Canadians want to be reassured that they are getting the best value when travelling: 66% of those that are vacation deprived check 2-3 travel sites before booking, with over half (61%) reporting the booking process causes stress as they wonder if they've got a good deal. The majority (81%) agree that they're willing to be flexible on the destination if it's more affordable. To help vacation-deprived Canadians reclaim their well-deserved time off, the latest Expedia app features have been designed with the traveller in mind. Using Expedia data, AI and machine learning, the in-app features include:
      • Price Tracking: View price history, receive alerts when prices fluctuate, and understand when prices are likely to change to help take the guesswork out of booking.
      • Conversational trip planning: iOS users can use Expedia's new in-app feature powered by ChatGPT to make travel planning easier. Start an open-ended conversation in the Expedia app and get recommendations on places to go, where to stay, how to get around, and what to see and do.
      • Packages: Book airfare, hotel and car at the same time on Expedia, otherwise known as bundling, to instantly unlock savings.

About the research:

  • Expedia first commissioned its Vacation Deprivation investigation in 2000 to examine the work-life balance of people worldwide. The annual study is currently in its 23rd year and was conducted online among 14,527 respondents across North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Commissioned from February 9 to March 3, 2023, on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm, responses were gathered using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. Looking at the margin of error for the global average, a 1-4% difference is statistically significant at 90% confidence.

About Expedia  

Expedia® is one of the world's leading full-service travel brands, with a mission of helping travellers get the most out of every trip they take by providing everything they need all in one place and, above all else, feel supported every step of the way.  

Our commitment to insights matched with our unprecedented scale allows us to understand our travellers better than anyone else, delivering exactly what they need, when they need it. Our personalized experiences backed by incredible technology enable us to deliver the widest selection of product offerings across accommodations, transportation, activities, and experiences, helping you get the most out of your journey.   

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