2013 BMO Holiday Travel Outlook: Vacation Spending Up 22 Per Cent; International Travel Plans Show Biggest Increase

2013 BMO Holiday Travel Outlook: Vacation Spending Up 22 Per Cent; 
International Travel Plans Show Biggest Increase 
- Canadians plan to spend $689 on holiday travel  
- Domestic holiday travel remains most popular 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 12/02/13 -- According to the
2013 BMO Holiday Travel Outlook, Canadians have caught the
international travel bug as more plan to vacation abroad this holiday
The report, conducted by Pollara, found:  

--  Canadians plan to spend an average of $689 on holiday travel this year,
    up 22 per cent over last year 
--  Total holiday travel is increasing, as 65 per cent of Canadians plan
    winter vacations - an 8 per cent increase from last year 
--  While 40 per cent of Canadians plan to vacation within their home
    province - unchanged from 2012 - one-quarter plan to travel outside of
    Canada, an increase of 32 per cent (25 per cent versus 19 per cent
--  Ontario is the most mobile province, with 71 per cent of respondents
    saying they plan to travel over the holidays 
--  57 per cent of Canadians say they plan to pay for their vacation with
    their credit card 
--  International travellers tend to be younger, with 35 per cent of
    Canadians under 35 planning to spend the holidays abroad 

"The arrival of winter leads many Canadians to get away, and their
plans are helped by the still-strong Canadian dollar and a relatively
stable economy," said Doug Porter, Chief Economist for BMO Capital
Markets. "Compared to 2012, there is a 2 per cent increase in
overnight stays by Canadians outside of the country." 
The report revealed the top travel destinations among Canadians this
holiday season, which include: 

Within home province                                                     40%
Another province within Canada                                           11%
U.S.A.                                                                   16%
Mexico                                                                    3%
Other overseas destinations                                               8%

Note: Numbers add to over 100% due to Canadians traveling to multiple
To help pay for their holiday vacation plans, 14 per cent of
Canadians say they intend to travel using a rewards program.  
"Planning a memorable holiday vacation means accounting for all the
financial and experiential details, and leveraging loyalty programs
that offer first-class benefits are another way not only to reduce
costs, but also upgrade your overall travel experience," said Nick
Mastromarco, Managing Director, Credit Card Products, BMO Bank of
Mr. Mastromarco added that a flexible loyalty program, such as the
BMO Rewards Program, can help enhance the overall travel experience.
For instance, the BMO World Elite MasterCard offers 2 per cent back
for travel on all card purchases. In addition, cardholders receive
best-in-class travel medical insurance, free access to VIP airport
lounges with included Priority Pass(TM) membership, exclusive access
to once-in-a-lifetime events, dream vacation packages and other
premium benefits. 
BMO offers Canadians tips on how to reduce travel costs and get more
out of their vacation:  

--  Call Ahead: To minimize any hassles abroad, take pre-emptive steps, such
    as alerting your bank of your travel plans. This can eliminate the
    chances of triggering any potential fraud alerts due to uncommon
    spending patterns, which can cause purchase interruptions. BMO credit
    card customers can quickly and easily use the online travel notification
    feature in BMO Online Banking to advise of their travel plans and to
    ensure there are no surprises with an out-of-country charge. For more
    information, visit www.bmo.com/onlinebanking. 
--  Use the credit card's travel insurance: Premium cards typically offer
    insurance, among other benefits. BMO offers the BMO World Elite
    MasterCard which provides trip interruption and/or cancellation
    insurance, travel medical insurance, rental car collision damage waiver
    coverage and other benefits such as airport VIP lounge passes and
    concierge service. These benefits can substantially reduce travel costs.
    Know and use the card features and benefits. When in doubt, call the
    bank's contact centre or check online for confirmation. 
--  Stick to one loyalty program: Consolidate all purchases on a single card
    to accumulate rewards faster and reach your travel destination goal
    sooner. Doing this also makes it easier to track and monitor your

The survey results cited in the 2013 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook
conducted by Pollara are compiled from an online random sample of
1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 11 and
October 16, 2013. A probability sample of this size would yield
results accurate to +/- 2.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.  
About BMO Financial Group  
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than
46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment
banking products and solutions. 
Media Contacts:
Matt Duffin, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia
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