Food and beverage workers and Quebecers rank as Canada’s most vacation-deprived

Expedia survey finds that Canadian hospitality workers and those residing in Quebec are not taking their vacations to the detriment of health and family life

Press release

Expedia recently released the results of the 2017 Expedia® Vacation Deprivation® report, an annual study of vacation habits among employed adults in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The report revealed the food and beverage industry ranked as being the most vacation deprived in Canada, with nearly two-thirds feeling this sentiment. Agricultural (62 per cent) and retail (61 per cent) sectors followed, surprisingly, the finance and legal industry ranked much lower, with only 47 per cent of people feeling vacation deprived.

Across the board, Canadians agreed vacations are vital for their health and wellbeing, with the vast majority feeling less stressed (94 per cent), happier (95 per cent) and more focused on work (89 per cent) once they return from a vacation.

Expedia hopes this report will serve as a friendly reminder to Canadians to make plans for their next vacation now. “Regardless of where you work, taking a vacation is vital. We all know having time off to discover new places, engage in activities and spend time with your family is a great way to recharge the batteries,” said Jennifer Callegaro, Head of Brand Marketing, Expedia Canada.

Vacation deprivation is a widespread affliction

This year more than half of Canadians (53 per cent) consider themselves vacation deprived, indicating that as a nation, we are achieving some form of work life balance; however, there is always opportunity for improvement. The study revealed:

  • Regionally, Quebec was the most vacation deprived province (58 per cent), while British Columbia was the least (45 per cent).
  • On a global scale, Canada ranked around the tenth most vacation deprived country, with South Korea ranking as the most vacation deprived and Norway as the least.
  • Almost seventy per cent of Canadians (67 per cent) felt they deserved more vacation days than given.
  • Younger Canadians are less likely to take their vacation days (64 per cent of 18-34 year olds experienced vacation deprivation), versus their elders who were more likely to capitalize on their vacation time (40 per cent of 50+ year olds experienced vacation deprivation).
  • When Canadians were asked if they would consider relocating to Europe in order to receive 25-30 days of paid vacation (6-11 more than given in Canada), less than 20 per cent were willing to consider this move.
  • While they are not willing to relocate for more vacation, Canadians are willing to sacrifice every day comforts for their vacation, with 59 per cent stating they would give up alcohol for an extra day off, 50 per cent willing to give up social media and 25 per cent happy to set down their smartphones.

Vacations are top of mind, even at work

Nearly two in three Canadians admit to spending time at work dreaming about vacations and over half (54 per cent) spend time actually planning their upcoming vacations while at work. Breaking that down further, 36 per cent of Canadians spend at least two hours a week at work dreaming about and planning potential vacations – whether this be to a warm sunny beach, snowy ski slope, or historical town. Maximizing vacation days by adding to a business trip was also considered of value, and was of most importance to 18-34 year olds, where 65 per cent indicated they would add on extra days.

“Taking a vacation is one of the best forms of relaxation and that’s different depending on the individual,” said Beverly Beuermann-King, a Canadian work-life balance expert. “Though we have busy schedules, it’s important to make time for work-life balance. Ultimately, returning from a vacation leaves Canadians feeling rejuvenated and with a clear mind. In turn, this contributes to increased happiness and greater emotions of productivity and positivity at work.”

Disconnection is desired but difficult

Despite spending time at work dreaming about vacation, on average this year, Canadians received 19 vacation days from employers, but will only take 17 of them – leaving two days of unused vacation time on the table. The report revealed:

  • Thirty per cent of Canadians reported tending to work during their vacation.
  • Over seventy per cent (73 per cent) of Canadians expressed not having feelings of guilt for taking their vacation days.
  • Over twenty per cent (21 per cent) of Canadians check email and voicemail at least once a day while on vacation, with almost forty per cent (37 per cent) reporting feeling more stressed after doing so.
  • In terms of impending workload following a vacation, 35 per cent of Canadians said this impacted the length of trip they decided to take. At a global level, this number rose to 53 per cent among those 18-34 years of age, the age group where this had the most impact.

About the 2017 Vacation Deprivation Survey 

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. The survey was conducted online from September 4-15, 2017 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. The study was conducted among 15,081 respondents across 30 countries. For the Canadian specific data, 1,002 random employed adults were used for the sample. Those who were not employed full-time, part-time or self-employed were disqualified.

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