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Vacation travel on the rise

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Many Canadians book time off work to putter around the house or to enjoy the weather. But today more and more Canadians are using their annual leave to travel.

According to the Travel Activities and Motivation Survey, 74% of all adult Canadians—about 18 million people—travelled for vacation or pleasure sometime from 2004 to 2006. This compares with 73% of adults from 1997 to 1999.

More Canadians are vacationing overseas—28% of the population in 2006, compared with 20% in 1999. Meanwhile, 35% took a vacation to the United States, compared with 29% previously, and 41% took a vacation in Canada outside their home province, up from 36%. The share of Canadians vacationing in their home province rose from 48% to 59%.

Younger adults and those in a household with above-average income took more overnight vacations than older adults and people in lower-income households. From 2004 to 2006, 80% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 took at least one out-of-town, overnight vacation. Only 66% of those aged 55 and older took similar trips.

Interestingly, adults born in Canada take proportionally more overnight vacations than those born outside the country. However, those born outside Canada are almost twice as likely to take an international vacation as their Canadian-born counterparts.

Sixty percent of adults who took an overnight vacation from 2004 to 2006 say the decision about where to travel was very or extremely important. Their top consideration in choosing a destination was feeling safe.