On a recent trip to Maui in Dec 2009, I was pleasantly surprised by a lovely statement from the host at Cheeseburger Island Style in Wailea. She asked where my husband and I were from--when I mentioned "Vancouver", she said "Thank God for Canadians, they kept us afloat when people from the US weren't travelling."
We encountered a similar statement from as far away as Kenya! In September 2009, we were at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Kenya. Upon hearing where we were from, one of the staff members told us "we have had a lot more Canadians this past year, the Americans didn't come as much."
Although I was sad to hear these first-hand account of the impact of the economic slow-down, at the same time, as a Canadian I was proud that Canadian travellers continued to help --even temporarily float-- the economy in places like Hawaii, the Caribbean and Mexico to only name a few destinations.
Because we are so close to the US and have such a closely-tied relationship, Canada has definitely been impacted by the US economic perils, however, our dollar has continued to do well positively impacting industries like travel!
Yesterday, the Canadian Dollar surged to about 96.16 cents US, the highest level since last October. When compared to the US dollar, the Canadian dollar has been fairly high for the past two years prompting Canadians to travel more to US destinations as well as consider buying real estate down south.
January 2009 US Travel and Tourism Report [see comment field] According to the attached report, Canada and the US are each other's largest tourism partners. Canada remains the largest source of foreign travelers to the United States, with Canadians accounting for 31.7 percent of US international visitors. With 74 percent market share, the U.S. continued to be by far the most popular destination for Canadian travelers in 2007.
Other Facts of Interest
- Canada ranks first in visitors to the U.S. (nearly 18 million); first in spending (US$ 16.17 billion)
- Not surprisingly (we all know Canadians love to shop in the US) the number one Canadian activity in the US, regardless of trip purpose, is shopping.
- Canadian travel occurs in non-peak seasons and helps to distribute visitors more uniformly throughout the year.
- Compared to visitors from other countries, Canadians are unique in their extensive coverage of all states. All states benefit from Canadian travelers but a few states dominate the numbers.
- 90% of the Canadian population is within 100 miles (161 km) of the US border.