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Weak loonie to keep many Canadians close to home this summer: survey

The first long weekend of the warm weather season has arrived, but a large number of Canadians say they are planning to stay close to home, with the weak loonie being a major factor in people's summer travel plans.

81 per cent of Canadians have no travel plans this Victoria Day weekend

Summer is coming, and many Canadians are planning to travel domestically this season as the loonie's weakness continues. (Dene Moore/Canadian Press)

The first long weekend of the warm weather season has arrived, but a large number of Canadians say they are planning to stay close to home, with the weak loonie being a major factor in people's summer travel plans.

According to a recent survey by online bank Tangerine, 81 per cent of respondents said they  plan to spend the long weekend at home this year. More than two-thirds of respondents — 69 per cent — said the value of the 
Canadian dollar  is impacting their travel for the remainder of the summer. 

Pushed lower, in part, by weakness in oil prices, the loonie is down about 16 cents US from where it was two years ago.

Late Friday morning, the loonie dollar was trading around 76.21 cents US. By way of comparison, on the Friday before the long weekend last year, the Canadian dollar was trading above 83 cents US, and just before the long weekend in 2014, the loonie was trading around 92 cents US.

Tangerine's survey found that about a quarter of Canadians won't be getting away at all this summer, while 58 per cent said they'll travel within Canada or their home province. 

Only nine per cent of respondents plan to travel to the United States, and another eight per cent will travel internationally. 

Reflecting the weakness in our dollar against the U.S. greenback, 27 per cent of the survey respondents said they changed their plans and no longer plan to travel to the United States this summer.

According to Statistics Canada's latest monthly figures, 977,686 Canadians made same-day car trips to the U.S. in March, representing a drop of 15 per cent compared to the same time last year. Overnight trips declined by 13 per cent.

The poll results are based on an online survey conducted from April 20 to 21, 2016, among 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. A probabilistic sample of this size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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