Canada sees fewer US visitors on high dollar, gas

Canada saw the fewest foreign visitors in at least three decades in June as gasoline prices and a strong Canadian currency caused US visitors to cut travel north of the border, Bloomberg reported.

Trips to Canada by US residents fell 16 percent in June from a year earlier to 2.56 million, even as voyages by people from other countries rose 2.6 percent to 575,000, Statistics Canada said today. The total number of foreign visitors fell 13 percent to 3.13 million, the lowest since the Ottawa-based agency started keeping such travel records in 1972.

``US visitors traditionally have spent a lot of money here, even more than Canadians do, so it's definitely a hit to our ticket sales,'' Ann Swerdfager, media manager for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, said before today's report.

Canada's C$70.6 billion ($66.4 billion) tourism industry has struggled since the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US made travel to and from that country more cumbersome. The currency's 59 percent appreciation since early 2002 also has made trips to Canada more expensive. The lost revenue from foreign visitors is another drain on an economy facing the slowest growth since 1992 this year, amid weak demand from the U.S. for manufactured goods from Canada such as cars and lumber.

The drop in June was fueled by high gasoline costs, the Canadian dollar and passport requirements that are being phased in for anyone entering or re-entering the US The biggest decline was US tourists taking day trips by car, down 22 percent from last year, according to the data, which isn't seasonally adjusted.

Swerdfager estimated her festival has seen a decline of about 16 percent in US ticket sales and said her research shows the drop is mostly explained by higher travel costs. The Shakespeare festival usually attracts between 500,000 and 600,000 theater fans from April 23, the playwright's birthday, to November, she said.

Canada was the world's 12th-most visited country in 2006 with 18.2 million tourists, according to the latest data on the United Nations World Tourism Organization's Web site.

``We're calling it the perfect storm,'' said Holly Ward, a spokeswoman for the Caesars Windsor casino, in Windsor, Ontario, across a river from Detroit. ``When you've got economic issues - the economic climate in Michigan, the dollar, gas prices, the border - all working together, it certainly changes the visitation pattern.''

Gasoline pump prices in the US rose about 34 percent from January to the end of June to $4.15 a gallon, before retreating 6.8 percent since then, according to the US Department of Energy. In Canada, they rose as high as C$1.39 per liter, or $4.97 a gallon, in July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Also, anyone entering or re-entering the US by air has to show a passport as of last year and drivers are scheduled to face a similar rule in mid-2009. US travelers, most of whom do not carry passports, used to be able to get into Canada and back home with a driver's license or birth certificate.

The downward trend for US visitors prompted the government-owned Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to partner with Harrah's Entertainment Inc. to add a theater to the Windsor casino and re-brand it as a Caesars to attract more Americans, Ward said.

Canada's tourism sector is on the ``brink of a crisis'' and needs ``urgent'' support from the government, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

The government could help by negotiating more open-skies accords to lower airfares or working with countries such as China to make trips to Canada easier, said Randy Williams, the tourism group's president and chief executive officer.

The tourism industry employed 623,900 workers in the first quarter, or 3.6 percent of Canada's total workforce, according to Statistics Canada.

Some operators are seeing an improvement now that gas prices and the Canadian dollar are easing.

The currency, dubbed the loonie for the aquatic bird on the one-dollar coin, has weakened about 4 percent against its US counterpart since the end of June. It fell 0.5 percent to C$1.0641 per US dollar at 4:07 p.m. in Toronto from C$1.0593 on Aug. 15. One Canadian dollar buys 93.97 US cents.

``At the beginning of the season, we were down about 15 percent for the American market,'' said Alain Brochu, vice-president of sales and marketing with Intrawest ULC's Mont Tremblant Resort, about 100 kilometers ( 62 miles) north of Montreal. ``But we've really witnessed an improvement in recent weeks, so we're making up a bit of the lost ground.''

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund sees increase in assets
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund sees increase in assets
Growth of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector reaches all-time high
Growth of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector reaches all-time high
Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijani Army meets with Bulgarian delegation (PHOTO)
Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijani Army meets with Bulgarian delegation (PHOTO)
Loading Bars
Georgia reveals its major motor oil supplying countries
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund sees increase in assets
Growth of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector reaches all-time high
Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijani Army meets with Bulgarian delegation (PHOTO)
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
FAO eyes another Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture project in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan to see increase in asylum seekers - deputy chairman of Supreme Court
Central Bank of Azerbaijan works consistently to curb inflation
Iran unveils amount of honey gathered countrywide
Kazakhstan’s Atyrau Oil Refinery to buy gaseous nitrogen via tender
Kazakhstan's economic growth is expected to accelerate in 2022 - Renaissance Capital
New military facilities commissioned in Azerbaijani liberated territories (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan increases marketable oil and gas production
Russia starts manufacturing reactor for Kudankulam nuclear power plant
Number of foreigners receives labour permits in Azerbaijan - State Migration Service
Azerbaijan eyes to raise quota for issuing labor permits to foreigners this year - State Migration Service
India at UNSC: Looking forward to Sudan's successful completion of transition phase
Uzbekistan notes growth in macroeconomic indicators
Jaishankar speaks with EU counterpart, discusses Afghanistan, Myanmar
OPEC expects Azerbaijan to boost oil output in 2022
UK regulator fines Mastercard, others for prepaid cards cartel
PM Modi: Best time to invest in India, multilateral institutions need reforms
Ministry unveils number of companies with Russian capital in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani citizens without COVID-19 passports won't be allowed to buy tickets for bus trips to liberated lands
Azerbaijan creates website for trips to liberated Karabakh
Iran strikes deal with Romania for export of technical, engineering services
No mine threat in Azerbaijan's Shusha - ANAMA
Gas transportation through South Caucasus Pipeline increases
Azerbaijan plans to demine tens of thousands of hectares of liberated territories - ANAMA
USAID’s support can increase foreign direct investment in Turkmenistan - official
UNHCR thanks Azerbaijan
Indian Prime Minister delivers ‘State of World’ special address at World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda
Largest philanthropist not only in Azerbaijan, but also in South Caucasus is Heydar Aliyev Foundation - President Ilham Aliyev
Kazakhstan discloses systematic measures to reduce inflation rate
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan's oil transportation from Azerbaijan down
I was offered few alternative locations for statue, and I chose this place, because it is place worthy of name of Zeynalabdin Taghiyev - president
Kazakhstan's President Tokayev to be elected chairman of Nur Otan party soon - First President of Kazakhstan
By sending hundreds of students to Russia and Europe, Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev clearly thought about future - President Ilham Aliyev
As result of Heydar Aliyev Foundation's activities, Azerbaijan is better known, and it was this factor that helped us during Second Karabakh War - President Ilham Aliyev
Today, Heydar Aliyev Foundation faces new tasks - President Ilham Aliyev
Sinopec gets first LNG cargo under new deal with Qatar
Brent to breach $100/bbl as demand weathers virus surge- Goldman Sachs
Azerbaijan ranks among top aviation fuel exporters to Georgia
I'm on deserved rest in capital and haven't left anywhere - first president of Kazakhstan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 18
Russia documents 31,252 daily COVID-19 cases, highest number since December 6
USAID supports Turkmen government and local partners to improve securities market
Websites that will make the work of Graphic Designers easier
UNHCR discloses number of Azerbaijani refugees provided with legal assistance before Second Karabakh War (PHOTO)
Production of Iran's Khorasan Steel Company increases
National Iranian Oil Company to take steps on development of North Pars gas field
Azerbaijan fils lawsuits against Armenia to European Court of Human Rights
Non-OPEC crude oil supply to continue upward trend by 2023
Visitors from Azerbaijan to Georgia spend less in 2021 - NBG
Europe to see increase in jet fuel demand – JP Morgan
Iran’s NISOC announces date for launch of extraction from Kish gas field
Israel sticks with 4th vaccine shot, sees Omicron wave waning in a week
Uzbek Central Bank shares data on volume of reserve assets and gold reserves
Azerbaijani public representatives send appeal to French President
Iran's economic growth improves - CBI
Oil demand set to rise by 2023, says JP Morgan
Central Bank of Iran discloses amount of loans issued for agricultural sector
Azerbaijan increases wine imports from Georgia
Epsilon obtains industrial gas inflow from new well at field in Uzbekistan
AFAB Cataract Campaigns on Int’l Day of Elderly in Niger (FOTO)
JP Morgan expects Azerbaijan’s oil output to decline in 2022-2023
Amount of loans issued by Iranian banks soars
NIOC intends to extract gas from Iran-Saudi Arabia joint Farzad B gas field
Azerbaijani FM leaves for Austria on working visit
Iran sees increase in trade turnover with ECO member states
UAE bourses open in red after Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi
Time of market test for Greece-North Macedonia gas pipeline announced
Azerbaijan holding talks on regular flights to Fuzuli Int’l Airport – deputy minister
Georgia reveals wine export growth dynamics in strategic markets
Azerbaijan reveals procedure of buying tickets for bus trips to liberated lands
Trips to Azerbaijan's liberated areas on all routes to be carried out in one day - ministry
At first stage only Azerbaijani citizens allowed to visit Karabakh – deputy minister
Citizens can visit liberated districts of Azerbaijan once a year - agency (PHOTO)
Police cars to accompany passenger buses through Azerbaijani liberated lands
Azerbaijan discloses cost of bus trips to liberated areas (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to launch regular bus trips to Karabakh soon
Kazakhstan to keep inflation in energy sector within set borders - ministry
President Ilham Aliyev unveils monument to philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran’s NIOC interested in increasing gas exports
Azerbaijan discloses loans of banks being liquidated by Deposit Insurance Fund
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan affirm commitment to Afghanistan
Azerbaijani Express-C company’s bonds included in listing of Baku Stock Exchange
Azerbaijan Airlines to present new “Azal Club” loyalty program
Kazakhstan to amend supply chain of petroleum products
2021 enters Azerbaijani history as year of social reforms - Analysis
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan see significant increase in mutual trade
Georgia’s trade turnover figures grow – TBC Capital
2022 budget for Ighdir-Nakhchivan gas pipeline disclosed
Georgia publishes COVID-19 data for January 18
Azerbaijan, Turkey discuss co-op on restoration projects in Karabakh
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for January 17
New school built in Azerbaijan's Gazakh on Heydar Aliyev Foundation's initiative (PHOTO)
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 18
Kazakh Gas Processing Plant opens tender to buy spares for pumps
Azerbaijan shares data on prices of various food products for 12M2021
All news