TORONTO, Canada – The results of this year’s annual Vacation Deprivation Survey, conducted by Northstar, were released today. Each year, the Vacation Deprivation Survey reveals the number of unused vacation days Canadians have accumulated. According to this year’s survey, Canadians will receive an average of 17 vacation days from employers – an increase of one additional day over 2014 – but will take only 15.5 of those days. That represents close to 10 million unused vacation days by Canadians this year alone.
In fact, since the inception of the Vacation Deprivation Survey in 2003, Canadians have collectively left more than 350 million vacation days on the table, resulting in an overwhelming $53 billion (CDN) in wages handed back to employers. “For the past 13 years, the survey has uncovered an undeniable trend – Canadians are not living up to our friends across the pond when it comes to taking vacation,” said Christopher Day, Senior Marketing Director for Expedia Canada. “Unsurprisingly, a staggering number of Canadians (53 percent) continue to consider themselves vacation deprived.”
WORK HARD, WORK HARD
For nearly a third of Canadians (32 percent) work schedules topped the list of reasons for leaving vacation days on the table, followed closely by saving for other obligations such as a house, tuition, or paying off debt (29 percent), and personal and family schedules ranked third at 24 percent. The survey also revealed that more than one million Canadians have not taken a vacation in over 15 years and more than 1.4 million Canadians have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.
“Over the years, we’ve noticed some recurring reasons as to why Canadians aren’t taking full advantage of their allotted vacation time. Commonly, it’s because things such as looking after family and focusing on their careers have taken priority,” said Beverly Beuermann-King, stress and wellness expert, who has been associated with the program since 2003. “And, while investing in our jobs and families is important, so is investing in our physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, taking time off for yourself can often result in improved relationships with others and greater productivity.”
VACATION DEPRIVATION – KEY SURVEY FINDINGS
• Since the inception of the Vacation Deprivation Survey in 2003, Canadians have collectively left more than 350 million vacation days on the table, resulting in $53 billion (CDN) in wages handed back to employers. That represents an average of more than 26 million unused vacation days and more than $4 billion in wages each year.
• On average, Canadians receive 17 vacation days a year but only take 15.5 of them. A third (32 percent) say they do not use all their vacation days because their work schedule makes it challenging to plan for vacation.
• Over half (52 percent) of Canadians say they are vacation deprived versus 48 per cent last year. Sixty-six percent say it is because they did not get enough vacation days this year while a third (34 percent) say it is 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 Canadians have never been on a vacation in their lifetime.
• Seventy-two per cent of Canadians associate vacationing with their overall happiness. In fact, 78 percent agree that they feel energized and excited before they leave for vacation.
• Canadians believe vacationing provides health benefits. Forty per cent say feeling less stressed and relaxed is what they have experienced as a result of a vacation. Thirty-six per cent say they are simply happier after a vacation.
• As expected, the top tech tool Canadians take on vacation is their smartphone (67 percent), followed by a little over a third taking their laptops (38 percent) and tablets (36 percent) on vacation.
• Six out of 10 Canadians stay connected by checking their personal emails while on vacation. Almost half stay connected through calling and texting their family and friends.