Expedia.ca Releases 2012 Flip Flop Report:

Study Examines Beachgoer Behaviours and Preferences Across Five Continents

Global study reveals attitudes toward price, beach quality, and nude sunbathing


TORONTO (ON), May 16, 2012 – Expedia.ca, Canada’s largest online travel provider, announced the results of a global survey that sheds light on the preferences of the typical beach-loving Canadian vacationer, many of whom will soon populate seashores around the globe.  According to Expedia.ca’s 2012 Flip Flop Report, Canada is among the most enthusiastic about beach vacations, with 45 per cent of Canadians saying they prefer a beach vacation to all other types of vacations, far ahead of the global average of 33 per cent.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia.ca, provides an analysis of behaviour and preferences of more than 8,000 adults in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia in a total of 21 countries.

Globally, the average beach holiday is just over one week in length at 7.7 days.  Canadians inch past the global average length of beach stay and spend an average of 7.8 days on the sunny shores, which puts us well beyond our North American counterparts, with the US and Mexico both at only 5.6 days. We are also much farther ahead than the Korean beachgoers who were the shortest at only 3.2 days.  Europeans loved the beach the most with Italians spending an average of 10.2 days at the beach, followed closely by the Dutch (10.1 days), the Germans at 9.7 days and finally the French at 9.3 days.

“Canadians spend a great deal of their vacation time at the beach – in fact 55 per cent of those surveyed said they planned on taking a beach holiday within the year so being able to offer them the selection to easily customize their dream beach vacation is a top priority for us,” said Sean Shannon, Vice President and Managing Director of Expedia Canada. “To help Canadian sun-seekers find the perfect beach vacation, we’ve created a value-packed summer sale with savings of up to 30 per cent off amazing beach destinations and unrivalled deals on vacation packages.”

Who is the typical Canadian sun seeker?

To spot a Canuck amongst sunscreens and Speedos, one needs to look no farther than the beach chair. The majority of Canadians prefer to hit the beach for some relaxing downtime, the preferred ‘activity’ for 72 per cent of respondents, compared to 54 per cent globally. When it comes to other favourite activities, Canadians truly are water babies.  Swimming is how 68 per cent of Canadians like to get active on the beach, followed by snorkeling which was the second most popular water activity at 34 per cent.  Canadians’ love of snorkeling was the highest of all regions surveyed and more than double the global average of 15 per cent.

Finally, a beach-going Canadian would likely not have a full-body tan as only five per cent of respondents stated that they have sunbathed in the nude.  German beachgoers at 15 per cent were the group most likely of all Flip Flop respondents to have stripped down while on a beach vacation while the Japanese least likely at only 1 per cent.

High importance placed on beach quality

Globally, the factors weighing in as most important when planning a beach vacation are total vacation price and beach quality, taking the one and two spots respectively.  For Canadians, however, those top two factors switch spots – Canadians rank beach quality ahead of total price when deciding where to take their beach vacations.

“Knowing how popular beach vacations are with Canadians, we’re offering an unmatched selection of thousands of deals for summer travel with Expedia.ca’s Bundle Your Summer Sale.  Amongst these are countless beach-specific offers that fit any lifestyle or budget including package vacations that can save Canadians an average of $300 when they bundle their flight and hotel together,” said Shannon. “And, as always with Expedia.ca’s all-in pricing, Canadians know exactly how much they’re spending for their well-deserved vacation under the sun up-front.”

When asked where in the world Canadians would like to travel to for a beach vacation 18 percent chose the Caribbean, 14 per cent Hawaii, Australia came in third at 10 per cent and Europe placed fourth at 8 per cent.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia.ca from February 14 – March 21, 2012 among 8,599 adults, 18 and older, in the following countries: the United States (501), Canada (1,249), Mexico (400), Argentina (312), Brazil (308), United Kingdom (402), Germany (423), France (414), Italy (437), Spain (418), Norway (300), Sweden (300), Denmark (300), Ireland (300), Netherlands (300), Japan (429), India (438), South Korea (346), Singapore (321), Australia (400), and New Zealand (301). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Expedia Inc.

Expedia, Inc. operates Canada’s most visited full-service online travel service, Expedia.ca. To help Canadians plan and purchase travel, Expedia, Inc. provides the best combination of scheduled and charter flights, car and hotel reservations, vacation packages, destination activities, cruises, trip insurance and traveller-authored content. Expedia customers are supported by customer support agents available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a toll-free number and email response.

Expedia and Expedia.ca are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50