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Canadians dealt with some particularly harsh winter weather at the start of the year. Manitoba experienced flooding in the first two quarters and in May, Slave Lake Alberta was hard hit when raging wildfires ripped through its town of 7,000. In April, Canadians, along with billions of people around the globe, watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton which marked the beginning of Canada's love affair with the Royal newlyweds. On the political front, Canada held a federal election with some surprising wins and defeats. In sports, the battle of Canada vs. the U.S. for the Stanley Cup resulted in a loss for the Vancouver Canucks against the Boston Bruins.
So far, 2011 has been a busy year for Canadian travel both abroad and domestically.† Canadians increased their average hotel room spend in almost every region with the exception of Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.† And with the dollar still strong and many deals to choose from, Canadians traveled more to the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world compared to the previous year.
What Canadians Spent on hotel rooms in Q3-Q4 2010 by Region
While Canadians spent more for accommodation in Australia, India and some European cities, they traveled overseas less. Better hotel deals were found in destinations whose economies suffered in 2011, including Egypt, down 18% ($105) and Japan down 14% ($127). South Africa's post-World Cup effect did not last as hotel room rates decreased by 27% ($139).
A 2% daily average rate increase for rooms in the U.S. didnít stop Canadians from flocking across the border for business and leisure.††Latin America remained a popular destination for Canadian travelers, especially since hotel rates in Mexico were down 5% ($139). All-inclusive resort areas such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Maya Riviera featured lower rates.† Brazil, on the other hand, was one of the most expensive destinations for Canadian visitors with an average daily rate of †$205.†
Prices paid by Canadians for International Travel in 2011
Toronto, ON, up 5% ($139), was the top domestic destination for Canadian travelers, ahead of Montreal and Vancouver.†With its cosmopolitan culture, urban sophistication and bustling business centre, Toronto attracts many visitors.†And Toronto has more than its fair share of buzz-worthy attractions, crowd-pleasing events, power lunches and renowned festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival.
Vancouver which dipped 3% to $143 was ranked the number one Canadian city to visit by the international community. Its cultural vibe, busy metropolitan core, outdoor recreation and milder climate make Vancouver a popular spot for inbound tourists.†Since hosting the 2010 Olympics, the city has gained notoriety for its breathtaking beauty and spirited residents.†
Coming in second with domestic travelers and third with international visitors, Quebec's largest city Montreal, up 3% at $150, has been described as Canadaís cultural capital.†Aside from boasting some of the most beautiful urban areas, Montreal is a centre of couture, cuisine and culture.†