How a low Canadian dollar may affect your winter travel plans

The value of our dollar has an impact on virtually every industry. Overall, the bottom line for consumers is that a low Canadian dollar means that it will cost more to travel south and abroad.

To date, there hasn't been much of an impact on this year’s winter travel plans, but if the dollar stays where it is or continues to drop, it could affect your winter travel plans. Paying a few extra dollars for different aspects of your trip (flight, hotel, food and spending money) will add up, especially if you are planning a family vacation.

The impact of a low dollar on winter travel and tourism is twofold

The low Canadian dollar can have a positive and a negative impact on Canadians. Although it could cost Canadians more money to travel outside the country, resulting in many staying home or planning a staycation, the tourism industry in Canada could benefit, as a lower dollar could also be enticing for travellers from other countries to visit Canada.

“It may curb some of the outbound business, so for example, for March break if you’re choosing between going to the Laurentians or going to Vermont, that 10-cent spread could keep you in Canada,” said David Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, to the Globe and Mail.

While a falling dollar may not have any immediate effects, it can become a serious issue in the long term. Statia Elliot, director of the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at the University of Guelph, says that cost has a big influence on how and where people travel. “I think with the way the dollar is and the way gas prices are, we’re going to see good, strong demand for summer vacations,” she says to Global News. She adds that “three-quarters of what we call tourism is generated by our own Canadian travel and with low gas prices that will encourage more people to get in the car and travel closer to home than they might have otherwise,” she adds.