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How much would you pay for an extra week of summer fun in the sun?

MasterCard® PayPass™ survey reveals one-in-four Canadians would spend up to $1,000 for an extra week of summer

TORONTO, August 24, 2010 – It may be one of the hottest and most humid summers in recent memory, but two-thirds of Canadians (66 per cent) will be sad to see it come to a close, according to a new poll from MasterCard PayPass. Some are so sad they would pay for more fun in the sun - one-in-four (24 per cent) would be willing to spend up to $1,000 on a one-week summer extension from Mother Nature.

This Labour Day weekend, while 20 per cent of Canadians are squeezing in more summer by heading out of town for a long weekend getaway or to the cottage or cabin to enjoy some fresh air and starry skies, almost half (44 per cent) will spend the long weekend in the city entertaining family and friends or relaxing before heading back-to-school and back-to-work.

Reflecting on what they’ll miss most about the summer season, 29 per cent of Canadians are going to miss the hot weather the most. One quarter of Canadians will miss basking in the extra daylight and sunshine and 22 per cent will miss summer activities like camping, going to the cottage, barbecuing and hanging out at the beach.

“Since summer is so short in Canada, we have learned how to squeeze as much summer as we can into just a few short months,” says Julie Wilson, Director, Public Affairs, MasterCard Canada. “Whether it’s waking up early to catch the sun’s first rays or keeping a pair of flip flops at the office, Canadians know that our short summers are priceless.”

Squeezin’ in summer…
Canadians do their best to squeeze the most out of summer by stopping for gas before a road trip (65 per cent) and packing on Thursday for a weekend away (36 per cent). Here are a few more tips to help Canadians squeeze more out of the last days of summer:

Explore the great outdoors …
It doesn’t take much to squeeze more out of summer – 76 per cent of Canadians take advantage of the hottest season just by spending more time outside. People in the Prairies (85 per cent) and Maritimes (84 per cent) spend the most time outside in the summer months, followed by Albertans and Ontarians with 77 per cent respectively, British Colombians (76 per cent) and Quebecers with 70 per cent.

Be a packrat, and be proud of it!
Thirty-four per cent of Canadians stock up on summer supplies so they don’t have to stop to buy them before a long weekend or a weekend away.

Channel your inner Boy Scout: Be Prepared
Keep extra flips flops and summer clothes at the office to take advantage of good weather at lunch or after work – 13 per cent of Canadians are already doing this including 18 per cent of Maritimers and 14 per cent of Ontarians.

Keep the spirit of the season alive…
Wear your flip flops and summer shoes for as long as possible: 54 per cent of Canadians show off their toes until they get cold. Another six per cent of Canadians – including 14 per cent of British Columbians – refuse to put their sandals away and wear them all year long.

“Finding the time to do everything you want to do in the summer can be challenging,” says Wilson. “MasterCard PayPass allows Canadians to spend less time doing mundane tasks such as checking out at grocery stores and paying for gas and squeeze more fun out of the short summer months.”

Don’t lose that summer feeling
With Labour Day signaling the end of summer for many, Canadians do their best to extend summer into the fall and winter:

  • A little snow never hurt the barbecue, so put on your toque and mittens like nearly half (49 per cent) of your fellow Canadians who brave the elements year-round to barbecue.
  • If patios are your favourite part of summer and you’re not ready to give them up when the weather turns south, throw on your coat and mittens with 20 per cent of your country and enjoy an extended summer patio season.
  • If the winter blues get you down, you’re not alone. Nearly four-in-ten Canadians (39 per cent) – including 45 per cent of Ontarians and 43 per cent of British Columbians – take a mid-winter vacation to somewhere sunny.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of MasterCard Canada from July 22-25, 2010. The telephone survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,023 Canadians ages 18+. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

MasterCard PayPass
MasterCard PayPass is ideal for traditional cash-heavy environments where speed is essential, and has led the way in bringing contactless technology to consumer categories such as quick serve restaurants, drug stores, gas stations, vending machines, convenience stores, sports arenas, movie theatres, transit systems, taxis, parking garages and more. As of Q2 2010, there are approximately 78 million MasterCard PayPass cards and devices in use at more than 245,000 merchant locations worldwide, including Rabba Fine Foods, Cineplex Odeon, Tim Hortons, Petro-Canada, Pioneer Petroleums, McDonald’s Restaurants and Loblaw Companies stores across Canada. For more information about MasterCard PayPass and a full list of participating merchants, visit www.mastercard.ca/PayPass.

®/TM MasterCard is a registered trademark and PayPass is a trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.
© 2010 MasterCard International Incorporated.  All rights reserved.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Sarah McConnell
416-969-2717
smcconnell@environicspr.com

Olivia Yu
416-969-2718
oyu@environicspr.com