Yukon businesses feel good and bad about low Canadian dollar
'There's going to be increases, guaranteed,' says Whitehorse appliance retailer
If the low Canadian dollar has you leaving your sandals and shorts in the closet this winter, consider this — that longed-for winter getaway could be even more expensive next year.
According Dennis O'Brien, who operates Marlin Travel in Whitehorse, that's because tour package companies often set their prices months in advance. Today's low dollar mean tomorrow's sting for Canadian travellers.
"I think prices are up this year, but I think it's really going to be noticeable in six months' or a year's time," O'Brien said.
"The negotiations that are going on now are the ones that are really going to show up next fall, next winter."
The Canadian dollar this week hit 71 cents U.S., the lowest exchange rate for the loonie since 2003. O'Brien said he's already seeing an impact, with fewer Yukoners looking to book trips to the U.S.
"I haven't had many requests in the last month or so for Vegas. Usually this time of year, you're getting requests for Vegas," O'Brien said.
Mike Pemberton, who manages Ashley Furniture in Whitehorse, said sticker prices are negotiated and set months ahead of time, so they don't necessarily reflect the current exchange rate. According to Pemberton, Canadian consumers will likely see those sticker prices go up later this year.
"There's going to be increases, guaranteed," he said. "To me as a retailer, it's always better to buy now!"
Good for visitors
"Things like low fuel prices and exchange rates we think will have an impact on people's visitation as they look forward to coming here in 2016," said Yukon's tourism director Pierre Germain.
"The low Canadian dollar will make Yukon and Canada more attractive."
Some Yukon tour operators say they're already seeing a positive effect, with more foreign visitors coming through most of the year, not just in summer.