Expedia.ca takes Canadians on holiday

Survey-driven campaign highlights travel experiences of the vacation-deprived

Canadians will get an average of 17 vacation days from employers this year, but will only take 15.5 of those days, according to Expedia.ca’s annual “Vacation Deprivation” survey. That represents close to 10 million unused vacation days by Canadians this year alone.

Expedia has been doing the survey since 2003, using the results as a PR tool to garner media coverage. This year, the online travel company decided to do something different: it surprised two couples and a mother-daughter duo who hadn’t travelled in 15 years with paid vacations to Spain, Denmark and France.“It’s our 15th anniversary this year, and we felt that was a big milestone to do something different with the survey,” said Jennifer Callegaro, marketing director at Expedia.ca.

“We wanted to tie an element of emotion to the numbers and really humanize the story. Rather than just telling Canadians how many vacation days they’re leaving on the table, we wanted to understand why. So we went out and found three [Canadian pairs] to get to the root of the problem and then do something about it.”

Three online videos, created by Grip Limited, show each pair talking about why they haven’t travelled in so long, before being surprised with a free trip. The videos then show highlights from their vacations and locals talking about the importance of going on holiday.

The videos, entitled “Vacation Education,” are on YouTube and will be seeded on Facebook. Five-minute versions of the videos will air on Travel + Escape.

The spot ends with a throw to the website, which is promoting its big 15th anniversary sale. Expedia is also giving away 15 trips booked on the site.


• 52% of Canadians say they are vacation deprived versus 48% last year. Sixty-six per cent say it is because they did not get enough vacation days, while 34% say it’s because they do not get to take all their vacation days.

•More than one million Canadians have not taken a vacation in over 15 years and more than 1.4 million have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.

•For nearly a third of Canadians (32%) work schedules topped the list of reasons for leaving vacation days on the table, followed by saving for other obligations such as a house, tuition, or paying off debt (29%), and personal and family schedules (24%).

Veritas Communications is handling PR for Expedia.

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