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 November 30, 2015
American Express Survey Identifies Personalization As Top Travel Priority For Canadians

 To mark its 100 year anniversary in the travel business, American Express released new survey findings revealing Canadians place a higher premium on the experiences they enjoy through travel. In fact, over three-quarters (79%) of Canadians value new or unique experiences over the familiar. Additionally, personalization of experiences has become so important that two thirds (66%) of Canadians say they spend more time planning travel that is tailored to their interests and preferences than booking a pre-packaged experience.

"Increasingly, travellers want to see the world on their terms with tailored, personalized experiences that reflect their passions and needs," said Gerald Parent, Director and General Manager, Canada Travel Servicing, American Express Canada. "It comes as no surprise that 91 per cent of Canadians appreciate a travel service company that strives to customize their experiences."

Having "meaningful experiences" is more of a priority for Canadian travellers than it is for Americans (46% vs. 23%). Additionally, Canadian travellers want to be involved in all aspects of the trip - from preparing an itinerary to documenting and sharing their experiences with others.

"American Express has been helping Cardmembers realize their travel dreams for over a century by providing an end-to-end travel service that's with them every step of the way - from planning and booking, to the airport, to wherever in the world they touchdown," said Parent.

Love of Travel Increasing Among Canadians

- Nearly one-third (31%) of Canadians travel more for leisure now than they did five years ago and over one-third (38%) expect to travel more in five years than they do now
- Most (85%) Canadians believe spending money on travel is an investment worth making
- Most (87%) Canadians value investing time in life experiences over investing in material possessions (13%) and value meaningful life experiences (89%) over focusing on their profession (11%)

Human Touch Is Irreplaceable

The recent study, which surveyed 1,001 consumers on their attitudes toward travel, also found almost all Canadians (92%) agree that despite digital advances in the travel industry, the value of personal service cannot be replaced. With American Express offering the best of both worlds, online and live travel support, they satisfy the majority of Canadians (90%) who prefer help from a live person opposed to online (10%) when something goes wrong while travelling. Be it replacing a lost card, or sourcing last minute hotel bookings or car transfers, American Express provides vast choice and a personalized touch that brings travellers peace of mind and service they can rely on.

In addition, nearly three quarters of Canadians (73%) would rather get recommendations or travel directions from a live person as opposed to online (27%), and 60 per cent of Canadians prefer to get help from a live person when making changes to their travel plans.

Where Technology Triumphs

Despite the desire for human interaction during travel, Canadians prefer to use technology for certain aspects of their trip. This includes planning (71%), booking travel (69%) on sites such as American Express' Travel Website and finally, checking into flights and hotels (52%).

However, technology does not stand alone. Thirty eight per cent of Canadians share the belief that live travel service professionals will become a more important compliment to mobile booking options over the next five years. It's for this reason that American Express continues to offer helpful planning and booking assistance before, during or after a trip as well as personalized 24/7 support to Cardmembers both at home and abroad.