|TRAVELOCITY.CA PANEL CONCLUDES TRAVEL CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE|
|The Canadian verison of Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome makes his debut at travel market panel discussion |
|Brian Simpson, operations manager, Travelocity.ca; Lorrie King, national practice leader for tourism, hospitality and leisure, Deloitte; Mel Borins, physician and author; and Loren Christie, travel contributor, Canada AM
Travelocity.ca and its Roaming Gnome were in Toronto on Tuesday to host select media and some of the online travel agency's partners for a special panel discussion of Canadian travel habits and why travel is crucial for one’s health.
Travelocity.ca also used The Spoke Club rooftop patio panel discussion event to introduce the Canadian travel industry to the Canadian edition of the Roaming Gnome; the standard edition Roaming Gnome with Canadian iconography. The Canadian themed gnome will be featured in all of Travelocity.ca’s advertising going forward.
The panel was led by Loren Christie, travel contributor, Canada AM, and included Lorrie King, national practice leader for tourism and leisure, Deloitte; Brian Simpson, operations manager, Travelocity.ca; and Dr. Mel Borins, physician and author of ‘An Apple a Day – A Holistic Health Primer’ and ‘Go Away Just for the Health of It.’
One of the main discussion themes throughout the panel was the importance of travel to an individual’s mental and physical health, something Borins has spent considerable time researching and writing about.
“Vacations are good for us. I think we all know that when we go away, we feel better. We feel better when we are away and we feel better for quite some time when we get back,” said Borins.
He cited studies that indicated that people who took vacations lived longer.
“There is all kinds of research that shows that vacations are good for us in all kinds of ways. Not only for our health but for burnout, job satisfaction, family satisfaction, intellectual functioning, our enthusiasm about our jobs, for less absentees after we come back from a vacation.”
As Christie put it quite frankly, the way Borins framed it, the options are to die earlier or go on vacation. Statistics seem to indicate Canadians are increasingly choosing the latter.
“Sixty-two per cent of Canadians intend to take a trip domestically in the next 12 months, as opposed to only 46 per cent a year ago, and that gap is the exact same as for travelling to the U.S. or travelling internationally. Canadians are definitely intending to travel more,” said King.
She added that while Canadian travel intentions have increased, the duration of stays has decreased, though that likely is increasing the total number of days overall Canadians are using to vacation annually.
Travelocity. ca has also noticed an increased interest in short vacations, with many consumers looking for weekend trips that are more affordable; both in terms of finances and vacation days. Travelocity.ca’s booking data shows that people buying an air-only ticket are spending, on average, eight days away, while customers booking a flight and hotel package are spending on average, five days away.
“We’re seeing a lot more trips for people who are getting away for longer weekends,” said Simpson. “We’re actually seeing a lot more travel to places like New York, Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco. Places where you can zip down for a long weekend, recharge your batteries, and go back home.”
Borins said that short travel can be as beneficial for an individual’s health as the long holidays are.
“I always say any vacation is better than no vacation. The longer you are away the better it is in terms of burnout and stress reduction and feeling better. But I’ve had patients who go away even for a weekend camping or short flight to another city, or even to visit relatives in another city, and they feel transformed even after a very short time.”
Borins added that he recommends the best time for people to book their next vacation is during their vacation.
“When you are on vacation you have time to look at your next vacation and plan it out a year in advance,” he said. “That’s really the best time to talk about your next holiday... then you have the excitement of looking forward to something.”
Travelocity.ca data shows that planning a vacation and booking that vacation in advance can also be beneficial to one’s wallet. Canadians can still get good, if not better, deals by booking ahead.
Over the past year, Travelocity.ca has seen a slight increase in advance purchase windows. And while it’s only three-days sooner on average, it means that consumers are getting more comfortable booking in advance and in some cases, suppliers are offering incentives to do so.