Don’t let the numbers fool you! Our petro-currency may be having a tough time against the greenback but Canadians are still big on America, reports Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
Ever since the feds upped duty free exemptions in June 2012, Canadian visitation numbers to the United States have been on a roller coaster ride; posting dramatic increases when the loonie was high and major decreases now that it’s deeply discounted.
But what the bald figures don’t show is that the volatility is primarily limited to ultra-short-stay, self-drive shoppers hopping over to border states, while the volume of Canadians taking longer-haul trips has held up remarkably well, even on the back of an 80-cent dollar.
And that spells continued good news for leisure travel sellers and transportation companies at home, as well as DMOs, hoteliers and other receptive interests in tried and true vacation destinations south of the border.
In the run-up to the IPW travel market in Orlando, US Department of Commerce economist Mark Brown, gave a snapshot of the way the duty-free situation has skewed overall numbers.
He pointed out, “Immediately [after] the exemption was increased, the one-night auto segment also started rising and anywhere from 35% to 70% on a monthly basis. By year’s end, the arrivals total was up 6.4% but would have been 3.2% without that one-night number.”
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press by clicking here.