TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadians who carry reward cards consider Honolulu and cities in Europe as their most popular dream destinations, while the Great Pyramids, Machu Picchu and Disney World also listed among top tourist spots, according to the 2012 RBC Travel Rewards Poll.
In the current economy, it appears Canadian reward card holders are mindful of costs when planning a trip, as two-thirds (67 per cent) say their budget is the top consideration. Friends and family (49 per cent) and a great bargain (45 per cent) are also strong influences when planning a vacation.
"The results show that Canadians value their vacation time, prefer far-flung locations and are cost-conscious travelers who like to plan," said Donna Lue-Atkinson, vice-president of Global Loyalty Programs and Rewards, RBC. "By planning ahead and effectively using your travel rewards points, you can enjoy a relaxing vacation filled with memories without breaking your budget."
Among those who plan to go away on vacation, four-in-10 Canadian reward card holders (40 per cent) estimate their next trip will be a week long, while 30 per cent expect to take two to three weeks and almost one-fifth (18 per cent) plan a weekend getaway.
The majority (56 per cent) of those surveyed said they are most likely to make their own travel arrangements online, while the remainder will have some form of help with a travel agent (19 per cent), by phone (12 per cent) or have someone else make the arrangements (eight per cent). The poll found that the top activities likely to be part of the next vacation include sightseeing (64 per cent), staying in a hotel (51 per cent), shopping (49 per cent) and relaxing on a beach (45 per cent).
Canadians' preference for sightseeing is reflected in their top choices of cities and tourist landmarks.
- Honolulu remains a top choice city among most reward travelers, if only one city in the world could be chosen (13 per cent, unchanged from 2011).
- European cities also maintained high ranking, with Paris (12 per cent compared to 11 percent in 2011): Rome (11 per cent in 2012, 10 per cent in 2011), and London (nine per cent, unchanged).
- Tied at six per cent each, Las Vegas (unchanged from 2011) and New York (up from four per cent in 2011) rounded out the top desired cities.
- The top-ranked tourist destination was the Great Pyramids in Egypt (18 per cent), followed by Machu Picchu (11 per cent), Disney World (10 per cent), Canadian Rockies (nine per cent) and the Great Wall of China (nine per cent).
These are some of the destinations that may become a reality for 10 lucky people this fall, courtesy of the RBC Avion Dream Getaway Contest. The contest, which runs until November 30, 2012, offers a chance to win one of 10 $20,000 trips of a lifetime. Entry is automatic for anyone applying for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card, the RBC Visa Platinum Avion card or the RBC Royal Bank Visa Business Platinum Avion card, all of which feature no points expiry, no blackout periods and no seat restrictions when redeeming points for travel. For full contest details, please visit: rbc.com/getavion.
"Dream travel doesn't have an expiry date, why should your travel points?" added Lue-Atkinson. "Choosing a loyalty program that is easy to use and simple to understand can help you reach your dream destination without any hassle."
About the RBC Travel Rewards Poll
The 2012 RBC Travel Rewards Poll survey was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of 1,632, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±2 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error within subgroups of the sample will be higher.
About RBC Rewards
As one of Canada's premier providers of loyalty programs, RBC has the reward options you need to get ahead. From exciting merchandise and travel to gift cards, RBC Financial Rewards® vouchers to charitable donations, you have the flexibility to redeem your points - which never expire - for what's important to you. Online travel bookings are powered by Travelocity, a more convenient way for Canadians to book travel with their RBC Rewards points. For more information, please see rbcrewards.com.
Image with caption: "2012 RBC Travel Rewards Poll: Where in the world do Canadians want to go? (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9707_PHOTO_EN_18461.jpg