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No Staycation: More Canadians Plan to Travel this Summer--BMO 2012 Summer Travel Survey

More Canadians Plan to Travel -- Canada Will See Its Share of Their Spending

- Majority will travel within Canada with a summer vacation budget of under $2,000

- Women more likely than men to say they are responsible for planning family's vacation

- Survey reveals top domestic and international destinations



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 29, 2012) - According to BMO's 2012 Summer Travel Survey, more Canadians will take a summer vacation this year compared to 2011 and the majority will spend their vacation dollars in Canada.

BMO's survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, revealed:

  • The vast majority (84 per cent) of Canadians polled plan to take a vacation in 2012 - up five per cent from 2011
  • Two-thirds of vacationers (63 per cent) said they will travel within Canada; vs. 57 per cent in 2011
  • 39 per cent will vacation within their province or territory vs. 33 per cent in 2011
  • 24 per cent plan to travel to the United States this summer, while 13 per cent plan to travel outside North America - up six per cent and four per cent respectively from 2011
  • Nearly half (44 per cent) of respondents said affordability is the primary driver of their vacation plans and summer travel destinations

"The number of Canadians travelling outside Canada rose 7.6 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago," said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While the rate has slowed somewhat, it's fair to say that Canadians still have their travelling shoes on despite global economic concerns. The strong Canadian dollar is a key factor driving out-of-country travel."

"Given the importance of affordability, one way to stretch a summer vacation budget is to make use of loyalty rewards," added Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Thirty-three per cent of loyalty points collectors we surveyed told us they'll use rewards to offset some part of their summer holiday costs. Reward programs provide a practical and convenient way for more Canadians to take advantage of a broad array of redemption options, and upgrade their vacation experience without breaking the budget."

Ms. McVey noted that from June 1 to August 31, 2012, BMO is offering 1,000 Bonus AIR MILE reward miles to all new BMO Gold AIR MILES MasterCard cardholders, enough for a round trip flight between Vancouver and Kelowna, Halifax and St. Johns, Toronto and Ottawa, and many other destinations across Canada and between Canada and the U.S.

BMO 2012 Summer Travel Survey: Top Summer Travel Destinations*

Top Canadian Destinations
BC 24%
ONTARIO 21%
QUEBEC 19%
ALBERTA 13%
NOVA SCOTIA 10%
PEI 7%
MANITOBA 4%
SASKATCHEWAN 4%
NEW BRUNSWICK 4%
NEWFOUNDLAND 3%
YUKON 1%
OTHER / DON'T KNOW 3%
*Regional breakdowns available upon request.
Top U.S. Destinations
NEW YORK 18%
FLORIDA 17%
CALIFORNIA 13%
WASHINGTON STATE 5%
MASSACHUSETTS 4%
Top International Destinations
FRANCE 9%
CUBA 8%
AUSTRALIA 7%
ENGLAND 6%
GERMANY 6%
MEXICO 6%

BMO's 2012 Summer Travel Survey was conducted from April 23-26, 2012, by Leger Marketing. The sample was 1502 Canadians, 18 years or older. The margin of error is 2.5 per cent.

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 $525 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For media enquiries:
Ralph Marranca, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
ralph.marranca@bmo.com

Carol Greene, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
carol.greene@bmo.com

Ronald Monet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
ronald.monet@bmo.com

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

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia