U.S. spring break deals disappear due to low dollar, says SFU researcher

Canadians expecting the usual fare of last-minute flight deals to the U.S. are likely to be disappointed this year, says SFU professor Peter Williams.

Travel companies book packages months in advance in U.S. dollars, says SFU's Peter Williams

SFU professor Peter Williams says don't count on finding a last-minute deal to the U.S. for spring break this year. (CBC)

Canadians expecting the usual fare of last-minute flight deals to the U.S. are likely to be disappointed this year, says SFU professor Peter Williams. 

"In the past there have been fire sales to get people to travel, but this year ... most of those options have disappeared because the Canadian dollar has made it impossible," said Williams, director of SFU's Centre for Tourism Policy and Research .  

Travel companies negotiate contracts months in advance, he explained, and usually do so in U.S. dollars.

"They just can't make up that difference," he said. "The dollar affects how much the food costs, the room costs, how much it costs to put the gas in the plane."

Williams said all is not lost for those wishing to relax in warmer climates, however. He said countries like Mexico, Greece and Thailand still offer great deals for people travelling on a budget. 

On the plus side, the low dollar has been a boon to Canadian travel companies. He said the low dollar has led to a 20 per cent reduction in Canadians going to the U.S. and a 20 per cent increase in Americans travelling north of the border.

"The increase in Canadians and the increase in Americans make for a double whammy bonus for the resorts here," he said. 

With files from Kamil Karamali

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