Canadian travelers are more likely to take their vacations south of the border now that the loonie has reached parity with the greenback, according to a new Angus Reid survey.
The report, published Monday (Sept. 24) in the Ottawa Business Journal, said 49% of the 1,032 Canadians polled say they’re now more likely to vacation in the U.S. as a result of their increased spending power. British Columbians are the most likely to head southward for a trip at 63% of those surveyed, followed by 48% of Ontarians and 43% of Quebecers.
“After seeing these results, it’s clear airlines and U.S. highways can brace for an influx of Canadians heading south during the coming months. It’s no wonder air travel is at record numbers,” said Lucas Marshall, Angus Reid Strategies research manager, in a statement. “It appears that the parity of the Canadian dollar is a key travel motivator for Canadians.”
The survey noted that Canadians travel an average of 2.4 times a year for vacations lasting three days or more. Albertans are the most likely to hit the road during their time off, with an average of 3.1 trips per year, and Canadians aged 55 years and older are more likely to travel than those aged 18 to 34 years, at 2.9 trips vs. 2.1 trips per year.
Meanwhile, a separate report noted that Canadian merchants saw fewer U.S. credit card purchases during July and August than they did last year as a result of the soaring value of the Canadian dollar.
RV Parks and campgrounds in Canada saw a 22% drop year-over-year in U.S. cardholder spending. Decreases also were recorded for specialty retail merchants, who saw a giant 35% decline, and public golf course visits which fell by 14%.
Canadian department stores saw U.S. credit card purchases decline by 6%, hotel reservations were down by 13% and restaurant visits dropped by 8%, the report added.