VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite anecdotes of Canadians snubbing US travel plans after the election of US President Donald Trump, travel south of the border is actually up, according to Statistics Canada.
Travel to the US in January was up more than seven per cent from December and was the highest in more than a year. The agency says most of that travel growth was from people driving over the border for a day or two.
“We’ve seen really strong sales to all the places in the US that BC residents and Canadians like to travel to,” explains travel agent Claire Newell. “When the travel ban had been announced, a lot of people already had travel on the books. I don’t think people canceled because no insurance policy would cover them if they chose to cancel.”
Newell believes many Canadians don’t want one man to ruin their vacation plans. “There are people who will say I’m not staying in a Trump property, but that would be the only thing.”
Meanwhile, Americans are getting to know Canada a little better. US travellers made 2 million trips north to Canada in January, up just over three per cent from December 2016. That’s the highest number for the month of January in 10 years.
Americans aren’t the only ones being drawn to Canada. Travelers from other overseas countries made a record 559,000 trips to Canada in January — up 15 per cent on the same time last year. The biggest increases in trips came from UK travelers and Chinese visitors.
Canadians made 1 million trips overseas in January, down slightly from December. That was the highest figure for the month of January since 1972.