Weak Canadian dollar, recession ground trips to U.S. for some Calgarians
Business down by 40%, says Calgary travel agent
Some Calgary travel agents are seeing a significant downturn in the number of people jetting off to the U.S. because of the low Canadian dollar and the recession.
Hazel Affonso, owner of Affordable Travel that has been in business for more than 30 years, is seeing a big reduction in bookings.
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"I would say a good 40 per cent," she said.
While others are not seeing the same slow down yet, they are bracing for it this year.
Still, deeply discounted flights to the U.S. are motivating some people to go anyway, even if it means doing some careful budgeting.
Burakama Kazmiro is pricing out a trip to Phoenix to see his cousin. He's been saving up and isn't sure he'll have enough given the current exchange rate hovering around 72 cents.
"Of course you know, I'm even thinking about the budget and I will have to save more to cover the expenses and all that," he said.
Meanwhile, Affonso offers some tips to travellers to save a little extra cash, including booking into accommodation with a kitchenette or staying with friends. She even suggests packing some food items, suggesting it's worth it even if you have to pay extra luggage fees.
"I'm going to be very upfront and tell you what I tell everybody, take your groceries with you," Affonso says. "I know you're going to pay for luggage ... but it's really cheaper in the long run."