For several years, Canadians have accepted the reality that travelling within their own country is more expensive than travelling outside of it. But this year, it seems that the tides are starting to turn, as new factors are making domestic travel more affordable.
Economists predict that there will be a surge in domestic tourism due to the low Canadian dollar. As trade tensions with the U.S. continue to intensify, the loonie could keep getting weaker, deterring Canadians from taking vacations outside of the country.
"I think there may be a bit of a boost to the economy from staycations," said Jeremy Stretch of CIBC Capital Markets to BNN. "Of course there’s always a benefit to any consumers staying home. I think in the context of the depreciation in the currency, I think we can and may well see further down drops towards the 75 cent US mark."
In support of this prediction, new reports show that flights from Canada to Europe are steeply rising this year, while domestic flights are seeing dramatic price drop thanks to the launch of new low-cost carriers like WestJet's Swoop.
According to data from travel website KAYAK, the median price of airfare from Canada to Europe is $1,036 — that's an eight per cent increase since last year and the highest its ever been in three years. Conversely, domestic flights are down seven per cent compared to last year. For some destinations like Edmonton, Abbotsford, Winnipeg and Hamilton, price drops have gone as far down as 25 to 40 per cent this year.
KAYAK also reveals that the cheapest destinations for Canadians still looking to travel outside of the country will have to look south to the U.S. The 10 most affordable destinations based on median round trip economy airfare between late May and early September are as follows:
1.Boston, MA ($328)
2.New York City, NY ($367)
3. Chicago, IL ($394)
4. Denver, CO ($394)
5. Phoenix, AZ ($397)
6. Fort Lauderdale, FL ($320)
7. Los Angeles, CA ($412)
8. Tampa, FL ($320)
9. San Diego, CA ($414)
10. Las Vegas, NV ($438)