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Old 08-10-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Summit, NJ
1,464 posts, read 1,375,851 times
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I had a wonderful week in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Several people mentioned that through the 90's and maybe the early 00's, about half the tourists they saw were Americans. But these days, it's almost all Canadians. "Bring more Americans!" said one store owner.

In one bed and breakfast, we were their first Americans all year. Also, I was surprised to see FAR more Alberta license plates than New York license plates, when it's so much further away and also less populous. The single most common license plate was Ontario, not counting Nova Scotia itself.

What are the reasons for this? I'm guessing the biggest reason is the weak US dollar? The high cost of gas might play a role too, since even driving from New England to Cape Breton is pretty long and takes plenty of gas. Are there other reasons?

P.S. Every American I talk to is shocked that the beaches are swimmable there. Indeed, even the cooler PEI beaches were about equal to the ones in southern Massachusetts.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:50 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,305,979 times
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stronger CAD should be the primary reason.

Additionally, I never understand the point for an American to visit Canada. The two countries are strikingly alike except Quebec. What's there in Atlantic Canada that the entire New England doesn't have?
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
6,862 posts, read 11,156,051 times
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You used to be able to go with just a US driver's license- now it requires a valid passport. I think that's discouraging people.

I find lots to see in Quebec City and Atlantic Canada.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:13 PM
 
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
1,034 posts, read 1,565,301 times
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Passport is a requirement now. Most Americans visit Quebec and Ontario though. Tons of American tourists in Toronto.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:14 PM
 
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
1,034 posts, read 1,565,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
stronger CAD should be the primary reason.

Additionally, I never understand the point for an American to visit Canada. The two countries are strikingly alike except Quebec. What's there in Atlantic Canada that the entire New England doesn't have?
Canada is still a different country. Canada uses metric system, bilingual federal buildings and packages.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,975 posts, read 27,449,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jews for Jesus View Post
Canada is still a different country. Canada uses metric system, bilingual federal buildings and packages.
Though I agree there are interesting things to see in Canada, I am not sure these are compelling reasons to visit.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:02 PM
 
14,282 posts, read 24,060,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averysgore View Post
I had a wonderful week in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Several people mentioned that through the 90's and maybe the early 00's, about half the tourists they saw were Americans. But these days, it's almost all Canadians. "Bring more Americans!" said one store owner.

I was in Eastern Ontario all week last week so this American has not abandoned Canada as a vacation destination.

I have been to the Maritimes several times. Let me give you several reasons why you are seeing fewer tourists in the area.

First, the airfares into Canada are pretty high AND very inconvenient. For example, Chicago to Halifax requires two stops for a $500 fare and non-stops are closer to $700. I am NOT going to say that fare sales do NOT exist, but they are somewhere between seldom and none.

Second, there is little tourism marketing in the US for Eastern Canada. We hear a lot about Toronto and Western Canada in Chicago surrounded by hours of "Pure Michigan" ads.

Third, in the HUNDREDS of visits to Canada, the ONLY place where I had problems with exchanging currency was in Nova Scotia. It is the only place where they gave me par when the CAD was worth $0.70 and it was the ONLY province where it was difficult to exchange a US$100 bill at a BANK.

I would agree that the strength of the CAD does affect tourism. However, in Ontario, this past week, I thought that the prices seemed to be lower than in the past.

The passport issue in not that big of deal except those who are visiting for a short stay at places like Niagara Falls.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:19 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
2,195 posts, read 1,764,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Third, in the HUNDREDS of visits to Canada, the ONLY place where I had problems with exchanging currency was in Nova Scotia. It is the only place where they gave me par when the CAD was worth $0.70 and it was the ONLY province where it was difficult to exchange a US$100 bill at a BANK.
Well, change the look of your currency every ten years or so. It is easy to counterfeit American $100 dollar bills when they have been in circulation since the 1920s. Even the recent redesigns aren't very different from what they were. You need a total redisign--substitute Ben Franklin on the $100 for FDR, for example. Also, use totally different colours for your bills: green for the $1, blue for the $5, purple for the $10, orange for the $100, etc. Make your currency difficult to counterfeit, and foreign countries will eagerly accept it.

Or you could buy Canadian currency before you visit Canada. It does trade on world markets, same as US currency. In fact, it's considered a hard currency on world markets. And you'll avoid Canadian retailers who hate handling US currency and who will give you a less-than-favourable rate.

If you come to Canada thinking your hosts will be happy to accept US currency, give your head a shake. We have our own currency, and we expect you to use it in our home. You're doing us no favours by giving us US currency; in fact, you're creating more problems for us. And if we shaft you on the exchange; well, consider it a service charge for having to deal with foreign currency.

Bring Canadian dollars, and you'll find a warm welcome. Bring US dollars, and expect to be shafted. Your choice.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:59 AM
 
401 posts, read 1,341,427 times
Reputation: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
Well, change the look of your currency every ten years or so. It is easy to counterfeit American $100 dollar bills when they have been in circulation since the 1920s. Even the recent redesigns aren't very different from what they were. You need a total redisign--substitute Ben Franklin on the $100 for FDR, for example. Also, use totally different colours for your bills: green for the $1, blue for the $5, purple for the $10, orange for the $100, etc. Make your currency difficult to counterfeit, and foreign countries will eagerly accept it.

Or you could buy Canadian currency before you visit Canada. It does trade on world markets, same as US currency. In fact, it's considered a hard currency on world markets. And you'll avoid Canadian retailers who hate handling US currency and who will give you a less-than-favourable rate.

If you come to Canada thinking your hosts will be happy to accept US currency, give your head a shake. We have our own currency, and we expect you to use it in our home. You're doing us no favours by giving us US currency; in fact, you're creating more problems for us. And if we shaft you on the exchange; well, consider it a service charge for having to deal with foreign currency.

Bring Canadian dollars, and you'll find a warm welcome. Bring US dollars, and expect to be shafted. Your choice.
Well, I was gonna suggest a couple of other reasons why, but I guess rudeness as ilistrated above may be one. And the currency issues go both ways. I used to work at a bank in AZ in an area that had alot of Canadian snowbirds. They would always get mad when we told them it could take a week or more to fund their bank accounts when they wrote a check in CAD or had to go to one of the main branches to exchange their CAD bills. I left banking in 2001, I hear it got real fun for the snowbirds after 9/11 and the Patriot act.

While the strength of the CAD may be part of it, I'd say the biggest reason is now US citizens have to have a passport to get back into the country from Canada (and Mexico too). This didnt used to be the case. Im sure having to shell out a minimum of $125 for a passport card (that only will work for getting back in from Mexico, Canada, and the Carribean) is a turn off for many people. We have nobody to blame but our own US government for that.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:16 AM
 
14,282 posts, read 24,060,472 times
Reputation: 20137
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
If you come to Canada thinking your hosts will be happy to accept US currency, give your head a shake. We have our own currency, and we expect you to use it in our home. You're doing us no favours by giving us US currency; in fact, you're creating more problems for us. And if we shaft you on the exchange; well, consider it a service charge for having to deal with foreign currency.

Bring Canadian dollars, and you'll find a warm welcome. Bring US dollars, and expect to be shafted. Your choice.

Attitudes like YOURS are one of the reasons why many Americans stay home.
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