Nearly Half of Canadians (47%) Confident They’ll Take a Winter Vacation; Up 6 Points Since Last Year

More Are Motivated by Need for R&R than Desire to Escape the Cold

Toronto, ON, November 27, 2018 — More Canadians are looking forward to a winter vacation this year, new Ipsos research for Allianz Global Assistance has found. The third annual Canadian Winter Vacation Confidence Index reveals that nearly half of Canadians (47%) are confident (26% very/22% somewhat) they’ll take a winter vacation at some point between December through March. This is a six-point jump in confidence from winter 2017, when just 41% of Canadians were confident they’d be taking a vacation during the winter months. Confidence is strongest among those living in Alberta (53%) and Quebec (52%), and lowest in British Columbia (41%). For the purposes of the survey, a vacation was defined to participants as a leisure trip of at least one week outside of their home province.

For Canadians getting away from it all this winter, some much-needed R&R is at the top of their vacation wish list. Asked about the main reason for their next trip, one in three winter vacationers (35%) say they’re looking for a relaxation retreat. While taking time out for themselves is important, Canadians have many reasons for taking a winter break, be it visiting family or friends (25%), exploring new places (20%), escaping the cold (15%), or getting some skiing, scuba diving, hiking or cycling in on a sport/adventure trip (3%).

Prairie residents (28%) are the most likely to be going on vacation to escape the cold this winter, while Gen X’ers aged 35-54 (41%) will be leading the charge on relaxing retreats. Women (23%), meanwhile, are significantly more likely than men (17%) to plan on exploring somewhere new.

Vacation Deficit is Shrinking

A majority of Canadians (70%) say annual vacations are important to them (37% very/33% somewhat), virtually unchanged since 2017 (-1 pt), but not all have plans to take one in the next 12 months. Seven in ten (71%) are confident (43% very/28% somewhat) they will take a vacation at some point over the coming year – up 3 points from 2017.

A vacation deficit is the gap between those who say an annual vacation is important to them and those who actually plan to take one. Among those for whom vacations are important, just under nine in ten (88%) are confident (59% very/29% somewhat) they’ll take one in the year ahead (+3 pts from 2017). This leaves a vacation deficit of 12% of Canadians who find annual vacations important but who aren’t confident they’ll take a vacation themselves. Compared to 2017, the vacation deficit has declined by 3 points, owing to the rise in confidence about vacation plans.

Not Everyone Can Afford to Get Away

At the same time, plenty of Canadians have missed out on vacation time recently. Three in ten (31%) who haven’t taken a vacation for more than two years (-2 pts), including 35% of women and 38% of Baby Boomers. Just over half (56%) have had a vacation at some point in the past 12 months (+3 pts).

More often than not, money is the reason behind the decision to skip out on vacation plans. Two in three (65%) of those who don’t intend to take a vacation in the next year say it’s because they simply don’t have the budget for it. By contrast, far fewer cite age or health (10%), a lack of time (7%), or needing to care for loved ones (6%) as reasons why they plan to stay home. Gen X Canadians (76%) are significantly more likely to cite budget constraints, compared to Millennials (62%) or Boomers (58%).

Those who plan to get away this winter expect to spend $2,573 in the process, on average, representing a decrease of about $100 or 4%. Not surprisingly, Boomers ($3,357) anticipate spending significantly more than Millennials ($1,863) on their winter vacation.  

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23 and 29, 2018, on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 2,005 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel. Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson

Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs


+1 416 324-2002

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.