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Canadian dollar

That more Americans are visiting Toronto is good news. The fact they’re staying longer and spending more is even better. Tourism Toronto released its 2015 visitation numbers today, showing a five per cent rise in overnight visits and a 10 per cent hike in U.S. numbers. Overall, Toronto attracted 14.03 million overnight visits last year, the first time they’ve gone over the 14 million mark. The city’s previous best was in 2014, with 13,365,800 overnight visits. Montreal earlier this month announced they attracted 9.6 million visitors last year, while Vancouver said they brought in 9.4 million folks. Numbers from the ... continue reading →

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The Canadian dollar is in freefall, dropping below 70 cents the other day for the first time in more than a decade. It’s great for the Canadian tourism industry, but not so wonderful for snowbirds who’re looking for greener pastures in winter. Luckily, there are ways to soften the blow. Here are some tips from a guy who’s been a full-time travel writer for the better part of 10 years and has spent a good many nights on the road in his lifetime. 1. STAY HOME: I don’t mean build a man (or woman) cave in your basement and pry ... continue reading →

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Stop the fees, already

This has simply got to stop. U.S. airlines last year are said to have raked in $3.5 billion (that’s BILLION, folks) in bag fees. They’re bleeding us dry to the tune of $25 a bag, and they’re getting rich doing it. Things aren’t much better here in Canada, where Air Canada and WestJet and Porter bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in bag fees and other ancillary revenues. As if flying wasn’t painful enough, now comes a report at hotelnewsnow that says HOTEL fees in the U.S. could reach almost $2.5 billion this year. Here’s what their report said ... continue reading →

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March Break is officially in our rear view mirror. Ditto for Easter. So it’s time to plan for your summer vacation then, right? If you’re looking for a trip to the U.S., you’re likely in for sticker shock at your nearest bank. The loonie is still hovering around 80 cents U.S., and I recently paid something like $130 Canadian for a hundred dollars in U.S. greenbacks. With that in mind, here are a few out-of-town spots you might not have thought about. AUCKLAND My nephew recently booked a flight from Toronto to Auckland, New Zealand for $1,600. That’s not cheap, ... continue reading →

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Mark my words; it’s only a matter of time until we start paying for our first bag on WestJet flights. WestJet yesterday upped prices by two per cent in response to the falling Canadian dollar. Air Canada did the same thing, as apparently did Air Transat. With the loonie down around 90 cents (it was up slightly yesterday), they probably have no choice. Some airlines, including Sunquest and Air Canada Vacations, already brought in special surcharges to make up for the falling dollar. Experts have said these moves have added seven to nine per cent in total costs to many ... continue reading →

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