Cape Bretoners travelling south in droves

One Sydney travel agency says winter bookings for southern vacation destinations are up by 33 per cent, making it their busiest season in 15 years.

Maritime Travel in Sydney says its booking business has jumped by a third this winter

Cathy Price of Maritime Travel in Sydney says this has been the busiest winter in 15 years for vacation bookings. (Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith/CBC)

Cape Bretoners are heading south in droves this winter.

Judy Gillis of Sydney is one of them, and is counting down the days until she leaves for Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. 

"I went last year for the first time, and I guess I got the bug like everybody else," she said.

Maritime Travel manager Cathy Price said it's a trend. 

"We have more and more people every year travelling down south," she said. "Once you get the bug, the next year you want to go."

Price said it's been the busiest season in her 15 years at the Charlotte Street office in downtown Sydney.

"Our office is up 33 per cent overall from last year and that's with the all-inclusive packages down south," she said.

Price credits the niche markets of destination wedding and leisure groups. She said there has been in decline in the number of travellers taking Florida vacations because of the low Canadian dollar, but they are not staying home. Instead, she said, they opt for Mexico and the Caribbean.

Price said business has been so good, they added a third employee to the office. The most popular destinations this year are the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica.

Gillis has been looking forward to her vacation ever since her last one ended. 

"I wasn't back 10 minutes last year when I decided I wanted to go back this year," she said.

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