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BMO Summer Travel Survey: Staycations Popular as Canadians Scale Back Summer Travel Budgets

- More than half of Canadians have trips planned within their home province

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/23/14 -- According to BMO's 2014 Summer Travel Outlook, Canadians rank their home province as the top destination spot for vacations. While they intend on spending less compared to last year, nearly half are planning to travel internationally, with the United States, Europe and the Caribbean topping the list.

2014 Summer Travel Destinations

Top Travel Destinations for Canadians
Within my home province                                           55%
Another province                                                  26%
The United States                                                 30%
Europe                                                            5%
Central/South America or Caribbean                                4%
Mexico                                                            2%
Other overseas destinations                                       5%
I don't plan to travel this summer                                19%

--  Regionally, Albertans are the most likely to travel close to home, with
    81 per cent saying they will travel within Canada; one quarter (25 per
    cent) of Quebec residents say they will not travel anywhere this summer;
    and one third (35 per cent) of B.C. residents are choosing the U.S. as
    their summer travel destination.
--  Travel to the U.S. tops the list of international destinations for
    Canadians. According to BMO Economics, the generally stronger Canadian
    dollar and consumer confidence will support travel plans across the
--  Millennials (Canadian's age 18 - 34) are the most worldly summer
    travelers, with one-quarter (24 per cent) opting to travel outside of
    Canada and the U.S.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, revealed:

--  Cost-conscious Canadians plan to spend $1802 on summer travel, down
    nearly 20 per cent compared to a year ago ($2,226 in 2013)
--  While 81 per cent are still planning on travelling, one third (33 per
    cent) recognize that they will be scaling back on their travel this year
--  Nearly one quarter say they are less likely to be traveling to other
    provinces (26 per cent vs. 33 per cent last year) or the U.S. (30 per
    cent vs. 34 per cent last year) this summer
--  The tempering in travel plans is mostly attributed to financial
    circumstance with one quarter (23 per cent) scaling back in order to
    save more, and 19 per cent focusing on paying off debt
--  Gas prices will also affect summer plans for two thirds (68 per cent) of
    Canadians, with 30 per cent planning fewer out of town trips and nearly
    a quarter (22 per cent) planning more staycations.

"Affordability is top of mind for Canadian travellers, likely because of their renewed focus on saving this summer as well as other factors, including the Canadian dollar and fuel prices," said Nick Mastromarco, Managing Director, Credit Card Products, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Whether planning a vacation close to home or a trip abroad, making use of loyalty rewards to offset costs is a great way to stretch a vacation budget or free up cash for added savings."

Mr. Mastromarco added that using a credit card that offers reward programs provides a practical and convenient way for Canadians to take advantage of a broad array of redemption options to upgrade their vacation experience. For instance, the BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard offers 1 reward mile for every $15 in card purchases as well as a 25 per cent flight discount off AIR MILES flights worldwide.

BMO offers the following tips to help Canadians maximise their savings and fun this summer:

- Leverage rewards to offset costs: Redeem reward currency to offset travel costs and save on merchandise, such as sporting or camping gear, tickets to local attractions and more.

- Don't overspend: Spend less than you make. Develop a budget that establishes how household expenses will be paid and how spending will be managed. Take advantage of free online tools - such as BMO MoneyLogic (included with your BMO Bank Plan) and personal BMO credit card - to help you stay on top of everyday spending and saving.

- Shop around for a credit card that rewards you: If used responsibly, credit cards are a great payment option because of their convenience, security and loyalty reward features. This summer, apply for a BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard and earn up to 2,000 bonus AIR MILES reward miles (1,000 miles with your first purchase and 1,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in first three months). That's enough for two short-haul flights - helping you save on summer travel.

The BMO Summer Spending Survey which was conducted by Pollara between May 26th and 28th, 2014, with an online sample of 1,518 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest Canadian census information to be representative in terms of age, gender and region. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of $582 billion and more than 45,500 employees at April 30, 2014.

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