Low loonie attracting U.S. tourists to P.E.I. this summer

There's an Island upside to the low Canadian dollar: tourism operators say they're expecting to have a fantastic summer season. Several hotels are reporting that bookings from south of the border are already up, and they've been getting a lot of calls lately.

Island tourism operators already reporting increased bookings from States

Several P.E.I. hotels are reporting U.S. bookings are up already. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

There's an Island upside to the low Canadian dollar: tourism operators say they're expecting to have a fantastic summer season.

Several hotels are reporting that bookings from south of the border are already up, and they've been getting a lot of calls lately.

Nancy Leslie, of Canada's Best Value Inn & Suites, says many guests tell them they have come to P.E.I. because of the low dollar. (CBC)
"We are gradually getting, I'm finding, getting more and more calls trying to book in," said Nancy Leslie, of Canada's Best Value Inn & Suites. "Because last summer was really, people were calling and couldn't get rooms here."

While new bookings are good for business, there's a changing trend in why people are coming, according to Leslie.

"We always question people, what brings you to PEI, what brings you to Charlottetown and our hotel?" she explained. "And last year we found there was quite a bit with the Canadian dollar, so we're hoping this year it will pretty well double the impact of what we had last year."

Cashing in on the low loonie is something many tourism operators on P.E.I. plan on.

Most feel the dollar has increased the demand for rooms.

U.S. inquiries up

Kevin Mouflier, from the Tourism Industry Association of PEI, says many Americans still don't realize the great value their high dollar brings them in Canada. (Submitted)
"Currently I'm hearing some very positive feedback from operators that I've spoken to in various parts of the Island," said Kevin Mouflier, from the Tourism Industry Association of PEI. "The U.S. business is appearing to be quite strong, particularly with the inquiries."

Mouflier says there's still more business out there that could be heading to P.E.I.

"Not enough Americans know about what the value of their dollar is," he said. "So again, it's in marketing it effectively and getting the word out whether it be from the operator level when people are booking or through marketing, through the province."

It's not just U.S. customers being attracted to P.E.I.

Hotel operators say people from other parts of the country that would normally vacation in the U.S. are having second thoughts because of the dollar exchange rate, and are booking vacations on the Island instead.

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