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Americans staying away from Canada as dollar climbs higher

May 18th, 2011

Statistics Canada says overall trips by U.S. residents to Canada in March fell 1.6 per cent to 1.6 million trips and a high Canadian dollar is the culprit.

Overnight car travel from the U.S. was down 3.6 per cent to 525,000 trips, and same-day car travel was down 2.4 per cent to 545,000 — both the lowest levels on record since data began being tracked in 1972.

Conversely, Canadian residents were taking more trips to the U.S. — and other countries as well — in March.

U.S. travel by Canadian residents was up 0.1 per cent to four million trips, as a 0.4 per cent rise in same-day car trips was almost completely offset by a decline in overnight travel.

Statistics Canada said the Canadian dollar’s average value in March was $1.02 U.S., up 1.1 per cent from February and the highest since November 2007. As well, it said gasoline prices in the U.S. rose 10.9 per cent that month.

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