Over the last several months cross-border visits to the United States dropped with the sinking of our Canadian dollar value. In the first quarter of 2015, travel was down nine percent from the previous year. It has continued to deteriorate to at least that level since.
While those with homes in the sun belt states, like Arizona, California, and Florida, where Canadians took advantage of low housing prices a few years ago, may still chose to winter there, there are indications that many are now opting to sell their properties to take advantage of the partial recovery in the housing market, as well as the dollar offset.
This could be a boon for those buyers with significant capital gains on the line.
Usually when visitors drop as it has, and this kind of impact is felt by the hotels and resorts, a plethora of off price offers reach us through every advertising route available. It has not been the case so far. The reason is that our business is being replaced by other international visitors, mostly from China.
While the Chinese economy is showing its own sign of significant weakness, there is, nevertheless, a new wealth class in China.
They have the money, and are anxious to spend it through vacations in the one market of which they have the greatest awareness, the United States of America.
There is a good chance that some of that enthusiasm may spill over into Canada as well, but for those of us looking for the deals south of the border, they may not materialize over the immediate horizon.
Perhaps because many were sensing this reality, current figures show that those Canadians who still are determined to travel, have already shifted to other destinations.
In December, almost a million Canadians traveled to countries other than the United States, up nine percent from 2014.
And in conversations I have had with travel agents it looks like it could be a good year for overseas travel.
Europe as always is strong and airlines are repositioning flights to take advantage of the renewed interest.
Will we see bargains start to come over to Canadians through our media? Only if other nations chose to ignore them for reasons not yet foreseen.
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