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BMO Fall Travel Survey: Canadians' Travel Plans Surge 43 Per Cent

- Three-quarters of Canadians plan to travel this fall spending an average of $2,563

- The majority will use a credit card or cash to pay for travel costs

- Canada and the U.S. are the top travel destinations this fall

- Report shows who plans to travel the most, and how much they'll spend



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 19, 2013) - According to the 2013 BMO Fall Travel Survey released today, three-quarters of Canadians (77 per cent) are planning to get away this fall - an increase of 43 per cent from last year (54 per cent in 2012).

The study, conducted by Pollara, revealed:

  • Canadians plan to spend an average of $2,563 on travel during the fall. Among those planning a trip out of country, the price tag jumps to an average of $3,677.
  • The majority of Canadians plan to pay for their fall vacation with a credit card (64 per cent). Furthermore, 15 per cent plan to cash in their loyalty rewards to help fund their travel costs.
  • Those travelling on loyalty rewards plan to redeem them primarily on flights (64 per cent) and hotels (47 per cent).
  • Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) plan to use rewards on vacation packages.

"The fall season appears to be getting more popular among Canadians as a time to get away and recharge, as calendars begin to get busier in the cooler months," said Nick Mastromarco, Managing Director, Credit Card Products, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Leveraging reward programs is a simple and effective way to offset travel costs and increase spending power for purchasing flights, booking hotels and a number of other travel expenses."

The BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard, for example, offers one of the highest AIR MILES earn rates available along with a 25 per cent discount on all flight redemptions worldwide with no blackout periods. Additionally, for a limited time, those who apply for the BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard will earn 1,000 Bonus AIR MILES reward miles after their first card purchase and up to 1,000 additional reward miles over the first four months totalling 2,000 reward miles - enough for two short haul flights. For more information, drop by a BMO branch or visit www.bmo.com/get2000.

Mr. Mastromarco added that certain travel reward cards also offer valuable insurance features, such as trip cancellation insurance, to increase peace of mind for those travelling outside the country.

Most Popular Travel Destinations

The survey also found that while 45 per cent of Canadians plan to travel within Canada, nearly one-third (30 per cent) will travel to the U.S., while 23 per cent will visit other locales, such as Europe, Central/South America or Mexico.

BMO Economics notes that the rise in travel intentions is supported in part by a continued improvement in the economic backdrop, including higher consumer confidence, gradual improvement in the labour market and strong stock prices.

"Tourism generated more than $30 billion for the Canadian economy in 2012, or nearly 2 per cent of GDP, and about 4 per cent of the labour market has a direct link to the tourism industry," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While inbound travel has stabilized after falling during the recession and alongside a still-elevated Canadian dollar, outbound travel by Canadians remains elevated."

Canadians' Travel Plans TOTAL ATL QC ON MB/SK AB BC
Travelling this fall 77 % 82 % 70 % 82 % 74 % 75 % 80 %
Average travel costs $ 2,563 $ 2,201 $ 2,293 $ 2,631 $ 2,586 $ 2,663 $ 2,888
Visit within Canada 45 % 61 % 33 % 46 % 45 % 49 % 53 %
Visit United States 30 % 27 % 24 % 35 % 33 % 27 % 32 %
Visit Central/South America or the Caribbean 7 % 7 % 8 % 9 % 3 % 3 % 6 %
Visit Mexico 8 % 4 % 11 % 5 % 11 % 14 % 6 %
Visit Europe 8 % 5 % 12 % 9 % 6 % 4 % 6 %

Regional and Demographic findings:

  • Higher income earners are travelling the most this fall, with nearly nine-in-ten (86 per cent) Canadians with an annual household income of at least $100,000 planning a vacation.
  • Those between the ages of 18-34 are the most likely to use rewards for travel.
  • Those in Atlantic Canada and Ontario are the most likely to be planning a fall vacation.
  • Travellers in British Columbia plan to spend the most on fall travel plans ($2,888) with those in Atlantic Canada planning to spend the least ($2,201).
  • Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to travel within Canada (61 per cent), while Ontario travellers are most likely to vacation in the U.S. (35 per cent).

The Pollara online survey was completed between September 9 and September 11, with a sample of 1,000 Canadians. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Matthew Duffin, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
matthew.duffin@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia