The most recent release of key tourism numbers by Statistics Canada suggests that a decline of 20 percent in the value of the Canadian dollar—the loonie—vs. the U.S. dollar over the past few years has something to do with a healthy uptick in the number of U.S. visitors to Canada, particularly among day-trippers (a sure sign that U.S. residents are crossing the border to do some shopping). Here is what the latest data from Statistic Canada say:
- Overall travel to Canada rose 3.6 percent in December compared with November. This was entirely the result of more trips made by U.S. travelers to Canada—as travel to Canada from overseas countries decreased 0.5 percent in December to 441,000 trips.
- Travel from the United States to Canada increased 4.7 percent to 1.7 million trips. Same-day car travel posted the largest percentage increase, up 6.5 percent to 618,000 trips, followed by overnight car travel, up 6.3 percent to 584,000 trips.
- Canadian residents made 5.2 million trips abroad, up just 0.2 percent from November.
- The number of trips made by Canadian residents to the United States rose 0.3 percent to 4.3 million. This gain was largely attributable to a 0.4 percent increase in same-day car travel to 2.4 million trips.
- The number of trips made by Canadians to overseas countries decreased 0.6 percent to 922,000.
As for the value of the loonie vs. the U.S. dollar, here is a snapshot of its decline over the past few years.
The Decline of the Loonie:
Value of the Canadian Dollar vs. U.S. Dollar
Past Two-and-a-Half Years
|Date||Loonie = $|
|Six Months Ago (8-26-14)||$0.91|
|One Year Ago (2-26-14)||$0.90|
|18 Months Ago (8-26-13)||$0.95|
|Two Years Ago (2-26-13)||$0.97|
|Two-and-a-Half Years Ago (8-26-12)||$1.01|
Source: xe.com; prepared by NAJ