WUOMFM

Canada's dollar falls to lowest level in over a decade

Jul 29, 2015

Credit flickr user Sara Long / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Your dollar is worth more.

At least, it is in Canada.

Just four years ago the exchange rate meant it took more than one U.S. dollar to get a Canadian one, but now you can get a Canadian dollar for only 77 cents American.

Canada’s dollar is at its lowest point in more than a decade, which is driving more American tourists to take a trip across the border.

And that makes Canada tourism officials very happy.

Gordon Orr is the CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.

Orr says that while it’s too soon to quantify the impact of the increased tourism traffic, they don’t need the hard numbers to see a change.

“We’re noticing certainly an influx of American license plates in our tourist attraction areas, in our downtown area,” Orr said, “The fact that you’re getting 33 cents on your dollar is driving more Americans over here than we’ve seen in the last decade.”

Windsor has always been a day-trip destination, according to Orr, with less than a quarter of the city's yearly visitors staying overnight.

“But that’s okay, because when they’re here they’re still spending some money,” Orr said.

He says this is an exciting time for the tourism industry because more Americans than ever before have the identification needed to cross the border, be it a passport or NEXUS card.

While Americans are enjoying a little extra buying power, Orr says the decreased value of the Canadian dollar is slowing the flow of Canadian tourists into the U.S.

Orr tells us that travelers, whether American or Canadian, have generally grown more savvy about how to exchange their currency for travel, and know that, “they should exchange their money before they come, or they should use the bank rate or their Visa card to make sure they’re getting the maximum exchange rate or savings.”

He advises American travelers planning to visit Windsor to either use their credit card or visit one of their banks to exchange some currency in order to maximize their buying power.