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TMCNet:  Winter-Weary Canadians Dream of Ditching the Dark

[January 21, 2013]

Winter-Weary Canadians Dream of Ditching the Dark

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jan 21, 2013 (Marketwire via COMTEX) -- Forget the snow and bone-chilling temperatures - what makes Canadians most want to 'escape' winter doesn't have as much to do with the weather per se as you'd think. According to a survey conducted by Expedia.ca, Canada's leading online travel provider, the number one reason why Canadians would like to travel to a sunny destination this time of year is to avoid the shorter days and lack of sunlight.


Fifty per cent of Canadians surveyed cited dark days as their major winter gripe - not surprising that given on average, Canadians get four to six hours less sunlight in the winter compared to the summer months.(1) In fact, Canadians experience almost seven hours less daylight on Canada's shortest day, December 21st, compared to the longest, June 21st, each year.(2) Though Canadians are well-known to 'migrate' to warmer destinations during the winter months, of those surveyed, 61 per cent stated they have never taken an all-inclusive trip to a bright and sunny warm-weather destination to escape the winter season. This season's icy grip on Canadians coast-to-coast may change that, with almost a quarter - 22 per cent - of respondents stating that they 'definitely' or 'probably' will book an all-inclusive vacation this winter.

"We were surprised to learn that so many of the Canadians we polled have yet to take advantage of the convenience and cost savings of an all-inclusive vacation," said Sean Shannon, Vice President and Managing Director of Expedia Canada. "All-inclusive packages give travellers the peace of mind they need to enjoy a relaxing trip without having to worry about anything else. Convenience is key when it comes to travel and an all-inclusive vacation - or 'fly and flop' - allows travellers to focus their efforts on enjoying their vacation." What are Canadians escaping from While the dark, sun-less days of winter are the number one irritant, snow, sleet and slush also play a role in the desire to flee 'old man winter'. Of those surveyed, 32 per cent are hoping to avoid the delays caused by driving in winter weather and 30 per cent want to escape the chore of shoveling snow.

In addition, other annoyances Canadians would like to 'escape' from this winter include: -- Suffering from seasonal colds and flus (27 per cent) -- Having to bundle up in multiple layers before going outside (25 per cent) -- Dealing with high heating bills due to cold weather (23 per cent) -- Waking up cold in the morning and fighting to stay warm all day, no matter where you are (21 per cent) -- Riding in a freezing car that stays cold until you're just about to reach your destination (20 per cent) "We understand the challenges Canadians endure during the cold winter months because at Expedia.ca, we endure them too," said Shannon. "For those who want a break from Old Man Winter, Our Escape Winter Promotion offers a wide selection of all-inclusive trips to sunny destinations that will help Canadians feel refreshed, recharged and revitalized - feelings that will hopefully last long enough to get them through to spring." Popular Escape Destinations for Canadians So where are people going to find fun in the sun Fifty per cent of Canadians who have taken an all-inclusive trip said they've travelled to Mexico to escape winter in the past. This coincides with beach vacations booked on Expedia.ca in 2012 as well, with Mexico taking the top spot. Specific Mexico favourites for Canadian travellers in 2012 included Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Mazatlan.(i) Other popular travel destinations for Canadians looking to escape the winter according to Expedia.ca's survey include Dominican Republic (29 per cent), Florida (26 per cent), Jamaica (19 per cent), and Bahamas (13 per cent).

Expedia.ca offers solutions for Canadians who want to escape the winter For Canadians who need a break from Old Man Winter, Expedia.ca's Escape Winter Promotion offers countless all-inclusive vacation options to warm, sunny destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and other locations around the world. Vacationers receive a $150 future travel credit if they book before February 28, 2013 and travel before March 31, 2013 and their trip is backed by a Best Price Guarantee. Canadians can also enter to win a 1-in-4 all-inclusive beach vacation on Expedia.ca's Facebook page by sending a message to 'Old Man Winter' via an Expedia.ca online postcard.

Methodology From January 11th to January 14th, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,009 Canadian adults who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/-3.08%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender, region and education according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Expedia Inc.

Expedia, Inc. operates Canada's most visited full-service online travel service, Expedia.ca. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia, Inc. provides the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, rental cars and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, trip insurance and traveller-authored content. Expedia 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, Expedia.ca and Escape Winter are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. (C) 2013 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50 1 - The Weather Network (http://www.theweathernetwork.com/index.php product=moonsun) 2 - The Weather Network (http://www.theweathernetwork.com/index.php product=moonsun) (i)Figures based on all pre-packaged vacations booked on Expedia.ca from January 1/12 to December 31/12.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Veritas Communications Emily Vear 416-955-4590 vear@veritasinc.com SOURCE: Expedia.ca

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