VACATION DEPRIVATION AND AMERICAN HOT SPOTS
Expedia.ca has finished its seventh annual Vacation Deprivation survey and finds Canadian workers are a mess.
Last year, they found that 33 per cent of Canadians felt vacation deprived. But that jumped to 42 per cent in this year's survey.
"The stress associated with the current economy and impact on the workplace makes the need for time away from work even more important," said Beverly Beuermann-King, a "stress and wellness" expert (and how do you get that job?). "Vacation Deprivation is a condition that continues to affect Canadians across the country and it's essential for Canadians to invest in their health by taking a break and getting away."
There were some disturbing numbers in the survey, including a finding that 32 per cent of us say we have trouble coping with stress from work during our vacations and that 13 per cent say our work is our life and that we can't get away for vacations. Almost one-third of us say we feel guilty about taking time off work.
Interesting finding: 47 per cent of Ontario folks say they're vacation deprived, compared to 45 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Out in B.C., only 38 per cent of people make the claim, the same as Quebec. Only 35 per cent of Albertans feel vacation deprived, which proves something.
Funny, but just as I was typing this I got a note from a p.r. company saying that summer's almost here and that we're all thinking about taking vacations. One idea, they suggest, is to tour around southern Ontario wine territory with the help of a new book by Andrew Brooks called "Crush on Niagara: The Definitive Wine Tour Guide for Niagara, Lake Erie North Shore, Pelee Island and Prince Edward County."
Sounds like a grand idea.
U.S. SENATE TOURISM HEARINGS
Haven't seen much yet on this, but the U.S. Senate today began hearings on the health of the American tourism industry. Mind you, Senators will hold hearings on just about anything if they think it'll get their name in the paper. Still, it's a good chance for hotels and airlines and the rest of the industry to press their case.
Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota (now, there's a tourism challenged state) has introduced a bill that would create a travel promotion campaign to be funded by travellers seeking visa waivers, with matching funds from the travel industry.
"We have lost ground in attracting international tourists visiting our country in recent years," Dorgan says. "Rebuilding our country's appeal as an international travel destination will not only improve our country's reputation around the world, it will also create jobs and boost local economies throughout the United States."
One story I saw on the issue said one in eight Americans are employed in the tourism industry, which is remarkable.
The U.S. travel industry has named this week as its annual National Travel and Tourism Week. This year's theme is Travel Matters; a name aimed at highlighting "travel's unique ability to create jobs, stimulate economic recovery and drive needed tax revenue in all fifty states."
Not to mention Canada, which also is hugely dependent on tourism but hasn't been as high profile on the issue as the American industry.
On a final U.S. of A. related note, Travelocity reports the following (we have no idea why) as its 10 Summer Hotspots south of the border:
Minneapolis/St. Paul (used to go there when I covered the Jays and it's not bad. Not great but not bad)
Salt Lake City (uh, maybe not)
San Francisco (no kidding)
Las Vegas (never been but don't understand the attraction, personally)
Seattle (kind of Vancouver south but a more interesting downtown)
Chicago (city of broad shoulders, hog butcher to the world and great architecture)
Washington D.C. (weird downtown but great monuments/museums, and Georgetown's nice)
Portland (great food, low-key atmosphere and lots of nature nearby)
San Diego (no kidding part two)
Boston (some of the feeling of New York but on a more manageable scale)
PORTER ON THE RISE
Porter Airlines has overtaken WestJet as the No. 2 player in the Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa corridor, says Versant Partners Inc. analyst Cameron Doerksen.
Porter is said to hold more than 20 per cent of seat capacity in the region, far behind Air Canada's 57 per cent but ahead of WestJet's 14 per cent. It's said to have 24 per cent of the Ottawa-Toronto market.
Porter had just four aircraft a couple years ago but could have 20 by early next year, Doerksen says.
It's significant, but Doerksen notes that WestJet and Air Canada have huge markets that Porter simply can't compete in.