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Declining dollar impacts one in four Canadians planning to travel this March Break: CIBC Poll

Canadians planning to spend 13 per cent more on March Break this year, but fewer going to U.S. and international destinations

TORONTO, March 12, 2015 /CNW/ - A new CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll finds that the vacation plans of one in four (26 per cent) Canadians planning to get away this March Break have been impacted by the declining Canadian dollar. This poll also shows a decrease in the number of Canadians planning to travel to U.S. or international destinations, compared to a similar poll last year when the loonie was worth over 90 cents U.S. Those travelling plan to spend an average of about $2,600, up from about $2,300 last year.

Highlights of the poll include:

  • Canadians travelling this March Break plan to spend an average of $2,638, up 13 per cent from $2,328 last year
    • Albertans plan to spend the most, at $4,063, while Quebecers plan to spend the least, $1,376
  • Of those planning to travel, 26 per cent say the declining Canadian dollar has impacted their travel plans
  • Just 35 per cent of travellers are headed to U.S. or international destinations this March Break, compared to 56 per cent in last year's poll:
    • U.S. travel has decreased to 20 per cent from 35 per cent of travellers
    • International travel has decreased to 15 per cent from 21 per cent of travellers


"With winter this year seeming to drag on forever in many parts of the country, Canadians on average are willing to spend more to get away," says Steve Webster, Vice President, CIBC. "But given the decreased value of the Canadian dollar, it's not surprising fewer people are planning to travel to the U.S. or internationally, where they will get less bang for their buck."

Impact of the lower Canadian dollar on travel plans

Among those travellers impacted by the declining Canadian dollar, the poll asked how they are adjusting their travel plans as a result:

  • 28 per cent of impacted travellers will need to find a way to save more money for their trip
  • 25 per cent will travel closer to home
  • 24 per cent decided to cancel their trip altogether
  • 19 per cent will still be travelling outside Canada, but have scaled back their spending


"While the lower dollar can impact the cost of your trip, you can also look for ways to reduce your expenses, including using points to pay for flights or hotels," says Mr. Webster. "Check the features on your credit card - some may offer discounts on travel-related items such as car rentals, or provide enough insurance protection so that you don't need to purchase additional coverage."

To make the most of your vacation, CIBC offers the following tips:

  • Access credit card benefits to stretch your budget further - your credit card may have features such as reward points to pay for flights, hotels and other travel-related expenses, including discounts on car rentals.
  • Manage your vacation spending - with the CIBC CreditSmart tool you can set and track your spending by category, and set up Alerts that remind you when you get close to your limits.
  • Have a back-up form of payment - carrying a back-up payment card or cash can help if you lose your primary method of payment; be sure to keep it separate and in secure locations. With CIBC's Advantage Debit Card you can shop at stores in the U.S. and internationally, anywhere Visa is accepted.
  • Alert your bank that you are travelling - advance notice to your bank or credit card company about your travel plans greatly reduces the likelihood that you will have a transaction stopped for suspected fraud, ensuring you have uninterrupted use of your card.


This March Break, CIBC will deliver more comfort, fun, and surprises to enhance the experience for travellers at Toronto's Pearson Airport, with activities and snacks for families and special perks for CIBC Aventura cardholders. Travellers are invited to share photos of their March Break experience with CIBC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #PenguinsCanFly. For every share, CIBC Aventura will make a donation to the CIBC Children's Foundation which greatly improves the lives of children in need across the country.


Average amount Canadians who are travelling say they will spend in total on their vacations, by region:


National $2,638
British Columbia $2,735
Alberta $4,063
Manitoba/Saskatchewan $2,606
Ontario $2,573
Quebec $1,376
Atlantic Region   $3,786


Of those Canadians planning to travel during the 2015 March Break holiday, where they plan to travel:


Within my province 21%
Outside my province, within Canada 7%
To the U.S. 20%
Internationally 15%
Don't know / haven't decided 37%


From February 23rd to 24th 2015, an online survey was conducted among 3,009 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.79%, 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 CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at


For further information:

Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications, 416-784-6699 or