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Weaker 'loonie' good and bad news for Canada travel


The past year has seen a slide in the value of the Canadian dollar (often called a 'loonie' because of the loon that decorates the back of the coin) and it's having an impact on Canadian vacation plans, including less overseas travel or shorter trips. On the other hand, it means more business for Canadian destinations, as more people choose domestic travel.

A recent survey commissioned by shows 6 Canadian cities in the top 10 searched destinations for travel by Canadians in the first half of 2016. Toronto tops the list, with Vancouver, Montreal and Niagara Falls at 3, 4, and 5, Banff National Park at 8 and Quebec City at 10. 

In the survey, nearly three-quarters said the Loonie is affecting their plans for this year; half said it would affect how often they travel, and nearly as many said its' affecting how long they stay.

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Photo above: Busy Yonge Street in favorite-destination Toronto


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With the fall especially of oil prices (and other natural resources, which Canada is a major producer of), the loonie has indeed fallen compared to the US dollar but kept its relative value with most other currencies, including the pound and Euro.  It seems despite a reasonably healthy economic profile, including until recently an almost balanced federal budget and low debt-to-GDP ratio, the value of the Canadian dollar is pegged to its natural resource valuation. 

With the pullback in the global economy, Canada is now in recession.  In Alberta, where I currently live, the falling oil prices especially have hurt the provincial finances.  But of course like all things this will pass but no one knows when.  Hence, I believe, the pullback in travel.  The American border towns are really hurting as Canadians aren't traveling into "the states" to shop or getaway for a long weekend nearly as frequently.

And for those who haven't see it, here are the Canadian 'loonie' and the two dollar coin, the 'twonie'.


Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie


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