Sunday, December 20, 2015

From the Associated Press: "Where have all the Canadian tourists gone?"

Had a conversation a few days ago with a merchant in downtown Lake Worth and the dearth of Canadian tourists is quite apparent. The main reason is the status of the loonie against the U.S. dollar. The merchant relayed to me that Canadian tourists will still be coming in large numbers but they're waiting until after the new year and will be staying for less time than in recent past seasons.

Here is an excerpt from Mike Schneider at the AP that explains the situation:
     The Canadian dollar, also known as the loonie, this year has dropped to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in more than a decade. The loonie has slid 25 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past three years and now is worth, in the ballpark, of 75 cents. [emphasis added]
     After Canada, the biggest sources of international tourists in the United States are Mexico, with a forecast of 17.9 million visitors this year; the United Kingdom, 4.4 million visitors; Japan, 3.5 million visitors; and Brazil, 2.3 million visitors.
     In Florida, where 4.2 million Canadians vacation annually, Canadian visits are down 1.4 percent for the first three quarters of the year, even though overall tourism is up by 5.5 percent, and Florida is on the path to break the 100 million visitors mark. Florida is the second most-popular state for Canadian visitors, trailing only New York.
Keep your fingers crossed and hope, in this instance, we'll see more these loonies (as opposed to our year-round resident loons) heading our way in the near future to the City of Lake Worth.