Yukon tourism industry sees upside to low Canadian dollar

'There's a good chance that 2016 and 2017 are gong to be very good years,' says Blake Rogers of the Yukon Tourism Industry Association.

'A lot of Canadians are staying closer to home,' says head of tourism association

Yukon's Hart River. Tourism operators expect the weak Canadian dollar will bring more visitors to Yukon this year, from Canada and abroad. (Juri Peepre)

Yukon's tourism operators are poised to cash in on the slumping Canadian dollar, according to the head of the local Tourism Industry Association (TIA).

"I think it's really encouraged a lot more American visitation in general," said Blake Rogers, executive director of TIA Yukon. Also, he said, "a lot of Canadians are staying closer to home."

Rogers believes the North has a particular advantage over other Canadian destinations because it's seen by many as an "exotic locale" within Canada, and could draw tourists who might otherwise travel overseas.

To many Canadians, Yukon is 'an exotic locale, but still within Canada,' says Blake Rogers of Yukon's Tourism Industry Association. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

"There's a good chance that 2016 and 2017 are going to be very good years" for Yukon tourism, he said.

The low dollar has caused a bit of trouble for TIA Yukon, however. The organization planned to hold its spring conference in Haines, Alaska, this year, but decided it would be too expensive.

"When [the dollar] slipped below 70 cents [U.S.], that was kind of a deal-breaker for us. We did a lot of math and figured out that it was not really conducive for this year," Rogers said.

"It's a prudent decision to do more things local if we can."

The TIA conference is now scheduled to happen in Whitehorse, April 20 to 22.

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