Canadian Travellers: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Canadian Travellers: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Press Release:

Whether it is travelling to meet your celebrity crush at a film festival, cheering on your favourite sports team at a tournament or grooving to the hottest live bands at a music festival, there are many events around the world this summer for Canadians to enjoy. Since travelling out of the country can stretch your travel budget beyond comfort and takes more advanced planning, the travel experts at Hotels.com™ have shared a list of exciting global events and how Canadian travellers can get the most bang for their buck by enjoying similar events at home.

“Celebrating milestones or festivals abroad can be such an exciting and memorable experience,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert at Hotels.com. “Many of the largest festivals have smaller equivalents so we’ve suggested some alternative events and outlined the hotel costs to help you budget your travel or staycation dollars.”

Euro Cup, France (June 10 – July 7, 2016)
The next best thing to the World Cup, France will play host to the European Cup this summer. The usual 16-team format of the quadrennial football championship has been expanded to 24 teams. Europe’s best national teams will compete in Paris, Marseille, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse as well as in newly constructed stadiums in Lille, Lyon, Nice and Bordeaux. In Paris, a fan zone will be set up on the Champ de Mars lawns under the Eiffel Tower and in Saint-Denis, giant screens will be placed near the Saint-Denis Basilica. Average hotel prices in Paris: $213*.Alternative: Amway Canadian Championship (June 2016) Canada’s five professional soccer teams, three in the MLS and two in the NASL, compete for the national club championship, the Voyageurs Cup. The two-leg finals are held in the last two weeks of June in the cities of the finalists. Last year’s champion was Vancouver where average hotel prices were $169*.
Glastonbury Festival, United Kingdom (June 22 – 24, 2016)
Just about any major popular music act you can name played the famed Glastonbury Festival in England’s south-west. This year’s edition features everyone from Adele to ZZ Top. With a perimeter of nearly 14 kilometres and as many as 1750,000 spectators enjoying music on multiple stages, Glastonbury is one of the world’s biggest outdoor music festivals. Chances of scoring a ticket are remote as they typically sell out in less than 24 hours, but you can always try the secondary market. Average hotel price in London: $276*.
Alternative: Osheaga Arts and Music Festival, Montreal (July 29 – 31, 2016)Now in its 10th year, this popular music festival on île Sainte-Hélène, site of Expo 67, continues to attract big-name acts year after year. This year’s headliners Radiohead and Lana Del Rey are joined by dozens of other of the world’s hottest musicians for a weekend of sun and fun. Average hotel price in Montreal: $160*.
Calgary Stampede (July 8 – 17, 2016)
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has been Calgary’s defining event for more than a century. While rodeo competitions of such events as calf-roping and chuck-wagon racing are its biggest draw, the festival has grown to include a series of popular outdoor concerts and other community happenings, like the ever-popular pancake breakfasts. Be sure to wear a cowboy hat while you’re there so you will fit in! Average hotel price in Calgary: $150*.
Alternative: Festival Western de Sainte-Tite (Sept. 9 – 18, 2016).Would it surprise you to learn that the second largest rodeo in Canada is held in Quebec? Every September, the tiny town of Saint-Tite shuts down for two weeks to host one of the most popular rodeos on the eastern circuit. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to watch top rodeo stars compete for big money prizes. How do you say yee-haw in French? Average hotel prices in Trois-Rivières: $124*.
San Diego Comic-Con (July 21 – 24, 2016)
Every year, this California city becomes the center of the “nerd” universe as fans of comic books, superhero movies and cult TV shows converge to meet their idols and celebrate their love for genre media. Scoring tickets to this annual event require a lot of planning and accommodations need to be reserved far in advance. Average hotel price in San Diego: $182*.
Alternative: Central Canada Comic-Con (Oct. 28 – 30, 2016). Canada has its share of comic-book conventions with notable ones being held in Toronto and Vancouver, but Winnipeg’s C4 punches above its weight and draws fans from all over the country. One of this year’s notable guests is Canada’s own William Shatner, the living legend best known for his role as Star Trek’s Capt. Kirk. Average hotel price in Winnipeg: $136*.
EuroPride, Amsterdam, Netherlands (July 23 – Aug. 7, 2016)
World Pride happens next year in Madrid, but until then the world’s biggest gay pride event takes place in Amsterdam. The festival kicks off with Pink Saturday, a series of parties and activities that will be held throughout the city. The highlight of the two-week event will be the Canal Parade, a floating procession of boats that will travel a 6-kilometre route along the city’s famous canals. Average hotel prices in Amsterdam: $214*.
Alternative: Pride Toronto (June 24 – July 3, 2016).This annual Canadian Pride celebration is one of the biggest in the world, attracting more than 1.2 million attendees from Toronto and beyond and includes multiple parades and marches in support of various LGBTQ groups. Average hotel price in Toronto: $155*.
Summer Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Aug. 5 – 21, 2016)
Every four years, the entire world is captivated by the globe’s finest athletes competing in sports that normally get little attention, but for two glorious weeks every four summers, we cheer on our favourites. Watching on television is great, but nothing compares to being there in person. The only problem is obtaining tickets for the most coveted events is a sport in itself. Average hotel price in Rio de Janeiro: $195*.

Alternative: Vancouver 2010 winter games venues: Revisit the city that most recently hosted an Olympic Games in Canada with a tour of the venues of the 2010 event. Start in downtown Vancouver to pose with the famous torch then end your tour in Whistler and its mountain venues which are as spectacular in the summer as they are in the winter. Average hotel price inVancouver: $169*.

Alternative: Vancouver 2010 winter games venues: Revisit the city that most recently hosted an Olympic Games in Canada with a tour of the venues of the 2010 event. Start in downtown Vancouver to pose with the famous torch then end your tour in Whistler and its mountain venues which are as spectacular in the summer as they are in the winter. Average hotel price inVancouver: $169*.
Everyone knows that big events boost demand for hotel rooms, which means prices go up. One way to score the best deals is to join the Hotels.com Rewards™ program. Not only will the free program net you a free** night for every ten you stay, but members have access to Secret Prices***, lower rates on selected hotels in popular destinations. These are rates that aren’t available to everyone and won’t be found on hotel comparison sites.

*Average price paid per night including taxes and fees by Canadian travellers in 2015.
**Free night does not include taxes and charges and is subject to terms and conditions of Hotels.com Rewards.
*** Secret Prices are available to Hotels.com app users, Hotels.com Rewards members and individuals who unlock Secret Prices on the website by subscribing to Hotels.com by email. Secret Prices will be shown where the “Your Secret Price” banner is displayed in your search results. Available on selected hotels and selected dates only. Subject to full terms and conditions.

About Hotels.com

Hotels.com, L.P. operates Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca), a leading online accommodation booking website with properties ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals.

© 2016 Hotels.com, LP. Hotels.com, The Obvious Choice, Hotels.com Rewards and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks of the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Hotels.com

Survey reveals how mobile technology is revolutionizing Canadian travel habits

Survey reveals how mobile technology is revolutionizing Canadian travel habits

As mobile devices continue to evolve, the Hotels.com™ Mobile Travel Tracker* uncovers the true impact that the number-one travel accessory, the mobile phone, is having on our booking and travel behaviours. It reveals Canadians are now booking hotels in secret, becoming more spontaneous, staying connected with friends and placing less emphasis on price.

Global travel summary for 2015

According to the Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker, a global study of 9,200 travellers across 31 countries, today’s modern traveller makes four trips a year and on average stays in a hotel 13 nights of the year. Although for some, the hotel becomes their home for a month, as almost 1 in 10 spend more than 31 days a year in a hotel room.

Almost a third of people admit that they book more trips than ever thanks to mobile, so as smartphones continue to get smarter, it’s no surprise that nearly a third (30 per cent) of Canadians regularly book their hotel stays on a mobile device, with this number rising to 42 per cent for those aged 30 – 40, according to the survey. Short breaks at home (19 per cent), short breaks abroad (16 per cent) and business trips (16 per cent) are the main occasions Canadians make their hotel reservations on mobile.

We’re booking our hotels from everywhere

Gone are the days of booking your trip in a travel agent’s office surrounded by people, because nowadays hotel bookings are sometimes a more secretive affair, with travellers reserving their hotel room from their bedroom and their bathroom. Seventeen per cent of Canadians say they have booked a hotel while in bed with their partner. Eleven per cent of people also admitted to booking a hotel in the office when they were supposed to be working and nine per cent even confessed to booking a hotel while sitting on the toilet! Over a quarter of people (27 per cent) are multi-tasking mobile users as they have booked a hotel while also searching on multiple devices, according to this survey.

How we pay is more important than how much we pay

For today’s savvy traveller, it is no longer simply a case of the price is always right. In fact according to the Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker, having the right payment method and offering genuine guest reviews are more important factors when Canadians book a hotel on mobile. (Hotels.com offers 15 different payment methods, including the newly launched Apple Pay available currently in the U.S., but coming soon to Canada.)

Top five influencing factors for Canadians to book travel on mobile:

  1. Payment method is right for me – 45 per cent
  2. Price is best value – 42 per cent
  3. Genuine guest reviews – 40 per cent
  4. There is relevant and detailed info on hotel – 37 per cent
  5. Lots of hotel photos – 37 per cent

Nine per cent of travellers say having a loyalty program, like Hotels.com™ Rewards, influences their decision when booking on mobile and 11 per cent of people say having a coupon code also influences whether they make a booking. When it comes to the hotel itself, being connected is so important that 23 per cent of people say they only select a hotel if it offers free WiFi.

Mobile technology lets travellers be spontaneous

More than a third of Canadians (37 per cent) say their smartphone makes them more spontaneous when travelling and the fact that 37 per cent of people have made a same-day hotel booking and over a fifth of holidaymakers book less than a week before travel, seems to be evidence our travel booking behaviour is becoming more last-minute. A super spontaneous nine per cent of us have really left booking a hotel to the last minute and actually booked in the airport lounge before departure.

Travellers want to do more with their phones

With mobile technologies developing at such speed, there’s no doubt mobile usage for travellers will evolve. The Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker looked at what activities Canadians would be prepared to do in the future on their mobile devices while travelling. The most popular future usage for a quarter of people was to use their mobiles as an identification tool, to open hotel doors electronically and to check-in at self-serve kiosks at hotels.

More mobile usage facts about Canadian travellers:

  • Two-thirds of Canadians say their mobile phone is their favourite travel accessory.
  • The biggest use for mobile devices while travelling is as a camera with 42 per cent of Canadians using their phones to take photos.
  • The mobile apps Canadians use most while travelling are dedicated social media apps with 53 per cent of us using them while on the road.
  • Sixty-nine per cent of Canadians spend 1-to-2 hours per day on social media while travelling.

The Hotels.com app constantly evolves to meet the needs of travellers

Dan Craig, Senior Director of Mobile at Hotels.com brand said: “We pride ourselves on the booking experience we offer today’s modern traveller through our mobile app. As one of the market leaders in the mobile space, we’re constantly innovating and adding new features to make our app more personal and improve both hotel shopping and the customer experience. We see a growing number of transactions coming from mobile, so it’s fantastic to see that travellers anticipating new mobile technology features. It’s also great to see that booking a hotel on mobile is so easy, that 10 per cent of people do it while sitting on the toilet!”

Hotels.com is continually evolving its in-stay mobile experience and some exciting new features will be revealed in the coming months.

Launched earlier this year, a new home screen design on the Hotels.com Android app now means users have a more personalized experience. New home screen features include the Hotels.com Rewards punch card, dynamic reservations, cross device searches and offline mode.

The Hotels.com mobile app is available for IOS, Android, Windows and Amazon Kindle devices, and already has over 50 million downloads worldwide.

Please visit: http://mobiletraveltracker.hotels.com/ for more insights from the Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker.

Notes to Editor 

*9,200 adults from 31 countries were polled by One Poll, commissioned by Hotels.com in May 2016

About Hotels.com

Hotels.com, L.P. operates Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca), a leading online accommodation booking website with properties ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals.

© 2016 Hotels.com, LP. Hotels.com, The Obvious Choice, Mobile Travel Tracker, Hotels.com Rewards and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Hotels.com

Canadians spending money close to home this summer

Canadians spending money close to home this summer

With the first long weekend of the season coming up, a recent survey by Tangerine found that home may be the place to be this summer. The survey found that the vast majority of Canadians (81 per cent) plan to spend the long weekend at home this year, and two-thirds (69 per cent) say the value of the Canadian dollar is impacting their travel plans for the rest of the summer.

For the remainder of the summer months, a quarter of Canadians surveyed said they won’t be getting away at all, and 58 per cent said they’ll travel within Canada or their home province. Only nine per cent will travel to the US, and another eight per cent will travel internationally. More than one quarter (27 per cent) of Canadians said they changed their plans and no longer plan to travel to the US this summer because of the Canadian dollar.

While it seems that many people are cutting back on US travel plans this year, those with vacation plans are not afraid to spend money. Of those planning a trip within Canada this summer, 55 per cent will spend more than $1,000, and of those planning a trip to the US, 74 per cent will spend more than $1,000. Furthermore, 59 per cent admitted that they typically overspend what they budget for vacation, and many (29 per cent) use credit and debt to fund their vacation and pay it back later.

“Vacations can be a slippery slope when it comes to spending money, since you’re out of your regular routine and already opening your wallet for many expenses,” says Silvio Stroescu, Vice President of Deposits and Investments at Tangerine. “Having access to an interactive banking app with alerts can be helpful for money management while away, but, of course, deferring a vacation until you can afford it is the best option and appears to be what many Canadians are doing this year.”

A Canada-cation
When taking a vacation in their own country, Canadians are most likely to prefer an extended cottage trip to the lake and a good book (44%), followed by a busy-city adventure (23%). If they could take a vacation anywhere in Canada, one-third (33%) of Canadians would choose the east coast/Atlantic Canada as their destination of choice, followed by British Columbia (25%), Ontario (16%), and Quebec(16%).

The millennial compromise
When asked about splurges and compromises while on summer vacations, the millennial age group was the most likely to splurge, admitting they’re likely to overspend on food and beverage (63%), outdoor activities (43%), shopping/souvenirs (35%), and tickets for entertainment (25%) when travelling. But some millennials may be splurging in some areas because they’re saving on other expenses. Millennials were the most willing to share a bed or hotel room (35%), and take multiple connector flights (31%). Meanwhile, 18 per cent said they’ll travel on their birthday to take advantage of birthday freebies, or during non-peak times (70%).

“Whether staying with friends at an Airbnb® or hostel, or just hitting the road in your car, there are many ways to ensure you stay within your budget while you travel,” says Cait Flanders, author of the personal finance blog, Blonde on a Budget®. “My favourite way to save on travel is taking a ‘staycation’ and exploring areas close to home, which can be an eye-opening experience and cost much less.Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we should all spend more time exploring it.”

Survey Methodology
From April 20 to 21, 2016, an online survey was conducted among 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Tangerine
Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With nearly 2 million Clients and close to $38 billionin total assets, we are Canada’s leading direct bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning Client service. From no-fee daily chequing and high-interest savings accounts, a Credit Card, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, mortgages and mutual funds, Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and Mobile Banking app to our Café locations, Pop-Up locations and 24/7 Contact Centres. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

More information is available at tangerine.ca

The Best Ontario Road Trips This Summer

The Best Ontario Road Trips This Summer

Start your engines!  The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) is launching its spring/summer campaign with a new magazine, Ontario’s Best Road Trips, featuring hundreds of vacation ideas to help travellers plan their perfect Ontario summer adventure.

The 2016 campaign centres on a classic family experience – the road trip.  Whether it’s is a leisurely ride along an amazing coastline, lying on a soft sandy beach, or taking a grand tour, the Ontario’s Best Road Trips magazine offers an Ontario adventure for everyone.

Travellers can simply pack their bags and set out to enjoy one of the eight itineraries featured in the magazine, part of the 16 Ontario road trip ‘Suggested Itineraries’ on www.ontariotravel.net, or they can create their own unique signature getaway using the website’s Trip Planner tool. Travellers have the option of customizing their trip to include selected attractions, accommodations, events and packages, and personal points of interest. To make the journey even more memorable, travellers can listen to a summer playlist crowd-sourced from OTMPC fans’ favourite road trip music!

Tourism Week is taking place May 29 to June 4, and marks the kick-off of the 2016 summer tourism season in Ontario. Ontarians are invited to visit an Ontario Travel Information Centre (OTIC), speak to a travel information counsellor, and learn about the myriad of things to do and places to see in Ontario. Special regional events leading up to and during Tourism Week will showcase local tourism products, attractions and festivals, and are taking place at OTICs in Toronto at Union Station on May 27, St. Catharines on May 31,Windsor on June 1, Barrie on June 2, and Sault Ste. Marie on June 3.  Throughout the week, all 11 OTICs will be hosting Open Houses.

QUOTES

“With summer just around the corner, this is the perfect time of year to get out and discover our province by hitting the road. I hope theOntario’s Best Road Trips magazine inspires families to plan a vacation right here at home and experience all the natural beauty and exciting destinations that are right here in our own backyard.”

–       Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) is delighted to promote our Best Ontario Road Trips as the 2016 summer season begins. This year’s promotional campaign invites families, couples and friends to take one or more of 16 suggested road trips to experience the many adventures offered across the province. OTMPC is pleased to continue our partnerships with Ontariotourism operators – from the north to the southwest, in eastern Ontario and everywhere in between – to promote the best vacations inOntario.”

–       Ronald Holgerson, President and CEO, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

“The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is proud to support the OTMPC’s 2016 spring/summer campaign, Ontario’s Best Road Trips. Ontario boasts an extensive array of tourism products, and this season’s initiative gives tourism operators a great opportunity to showcase what makes our province a destination of choice.”

–       Beth Potter, President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

QUICK FACTS

  • Tourism is an important economic driver. 2012 figures indicate that tourism supported over 359,400 jobs and generated $28 billionfor Ontario’s economy.
  • There are 13 Ontario Regional Tourism Organizations across Ontario that support tourism product development and marketing ofOntario’s tourism industry.
  • Visitors are encouraged to share their Ontario tourism experience using #DiscoverON.
  • Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation is an agency of the Government of Ontario with a vision to position Ontario as a preferred global destination.

LEARN MORE

If you do not wish to receive electronic messages regarding OTMPC news, please e-mail otmpc.news@ontario.ca indicating “unsubscribe”.

SOURCE Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

New study suggests: These are the colours bedbugs are most drawn to

New study suggests: These are the colours bedbugs are most drawn to

Excerpted article written

Sleeping in red or black bedsheets? You may want to redecorate: a quirky new study suggests bedbugs are most drawn to these colours while they tend to avoid green and yellow.

Bedbugs are tiny biting, bloodsucking insects that multiply quickly and travel easily. It’s possible for anyone to end up with an infestation of bedbugs, regardless of income or type of dwelling, health officials warn.

They created small tent-like dwellings and placed them in Petri dishes. Then they placed the bloodsuckers into the dish and gave them 10 minutes to choose a spot.

They ran a series of experiments: bedbugs were tested at various life stages, different sexes, in groups and individually. They even compared hungry and well-fed insects.

“It was speculated that a bedbug would go to any harborage in an attempt to hide. However, these colour experiments show that bedbugs do not hide in just any harborage. Rather, they will select a harborage based on its colour when moving in the light,” lead author, Dr. Corraine McNeill, explained in a statement.

Their guess was that the insects would gravitate towards the colour red, because it’s the same shade as blood, which they feed on. They were spot on, but their reasoning changed.

“After doing the study, we think they preferred red colours is because bedbugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bedbugs,” McNeill explained.

They avoided yellow and green, too. The scientists say it may be because these colours resemble brightly lit areas.

These are important findings, especially to those who are developing bedbug traps, the researchers say.

Pairing red with things like pheromones and carbon dioxide – which also attract bedbugs – could be a food tactic, they suggest.

But don’t rule out red and black from your wardrobe just yet.

“I think that would be stretching the results a little too much … I don’t know how far I would go to say don’t get a red suitcase or red sheets, but the research hasn’t been done yet, so we can’t really rule that out completely,” McNeill said.

It’s the first study to consider bedbugs’ colour preferences – and it almost didn’t happen. The researchers initially joked that bedbugs don’t see or use colour.

Yet preliminary tests suggested otherwise: each time, the bedbugs – hungry, full, male, female, old, young – were specifically going to certain colours over others.

“From there, we took the idea and ran with it,” McNeill said.

The full findings were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Read the study.

Weird Reasons Planes Turn Around Mid-Flight

Weird Reasons Planes Turn Around Mid-Flight

Excerpted article written by 

Turning a plane around mid-flight is a rare occurrence and is often due to some sort of pressing mechanical issue. But on occasion an unforeseeable, non-technological event happens that forces the plane to make an unexpected U-turn. That’s exactly what happened Thursday night when a plane going from New York to Tennessee had to make an emergency landing in West Virginia—because a bird hit the windshield.

Airport spokesman Mike Plante said the pilot alerted air traffic controllers they were going to make an emergency landing at 4:50 p.m., after a bird struck the plane and cracked the windshield.

It’s not the only flight to have been forced to turn around because of encounters with birds. Earlier this week a plane lost an engine because of a bird strike, causing the Washington, D.C.-bound flight to return to Key West International Airport. Flight FR3445 to Palma de Mallorca in Spain returned to Manchester Airport after the plane collided with a bird shortly after takeoff. An American flight returned mid-journey to JFK Airport after the pilot hit a flock of geese after takeoff. And in 2010 a Beirut flight had to turn around when a bird got caught in the plane’s fan blades. Luckily, no one was injured in these cases, and the planes made it safely to the ground.

These freak events aren’t the only bizarre things to happen to or on a plane that force it to turn around. Over the years there’s been tales stories of airborne incidents that have caused mid-air detours. From odd smells and foreign creatures taking over the cabin to a mystery illness and an impromptu passenger performing Whitney Houston, these are some of the weirdest reasons planes have had to turn around.

Travel and Leisure 

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