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Expedia Says: Vacations Are The Best Medicine

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  •   08-20-2014  3:10 pm

Expedia Says: Vacations Are The Best Medicine

A national survey from has reported that vacations are viewed by Canadians as medicine for the body, mind and soul, with 93 per cent of respondents saying they feel relaxed and rejuvenated when they get home from a vacation.

87 per cent of respondents said they feel closer to their partners or their family, and 78 per cent report being more focused at work after a vacation.

PAXnewsWest spoke with Sean Shannon, managing director, Expedia Canada about the survey, and how the results can help travel agents motivate clients to take more vacation.

“We’ve been doing the study for over 10 years, and it’s pretty self-evident as to why a travel service like Expedia would care,” Shannon said. “We actually did it coast to coast, so we can talk about people in British Columbia versus people in Ontario and Quebec, and we did it around the world so we can talk about it country by country.”

The study was conducted on behalf of by Northstar during June 2014 among 1,001 Canadian adults aged 18 and older who are employed or self-employed. According to the survey, 90 per cent of British Columbians would be willing to make sacrifices for more vacation time, such as giving up video games, TV, alcohol, coffee or even their mobile phones for a full week.

“At the crux, Canadians get a certain amount of paid holidays per year, which is a combination of government legislation, and business and cultural norms,” he said. “If you go to down to the States or Europe or Brazil- they’re all different... it’s pretty fascinating.”

The survey revealed that on average, British Columbians say they’ll take 16 vacation days this year, down from 17 days last year.

The vacation prescription

Shannon said that in response to many employees ‘banking ‘ paid vacation until it reached up to three months of accumulated time away from the office, the cultural norms of many companies shifted to a ‘use it or lose it’, status when it came to taking vacations.

“It’s pretty normal that people have to use all, if not most of their vacation every year, or it vaporizes,” he said.

Shannon believes that policy is good for both travellers and travel professionals alike.

“It prevents people from banking holidays and trying to cash them in for dollars, or trying to tack them on to a maternity leave or an early retirement,” he said.

And it’s also a business norm that bodes well for savvy travel agents who know when clients are in need of stress-relieving vacation ‘medicine’.

“I think that a good agent should be advocating all the literacy and all the experts when it comes to stress, and relieving stress- all those experts in the field consistently line up and say, [vacations help] ‘make you a healthier, more productive person', and good agents should present those clinical facts,” said Shannon.

“It’s in everyone’s vested interests- we all profit from people taking a vacation, but there’s also clinical evidence that suggests that that’s how people stay healthier, happier and more productive by recharging their batteries,” he added.

While is a largely consumer-facing booking site, Expedia has membership opportunities for travel agents through its Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP), and offers a competitive commission structure.

“We definitely market the travel agent portal to the travel agent community- the resources are there,” Shannon said.

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