Canadian Trips to U.S. Fall to Four-Year Low on Weaker Dollar

Canadians’ interest in traveling to the U.S. is waning along with the strength of the country’s currency.

The number of trips to the U.S. fell to the lowest in more than four years in January, down 3.2 percent for the month to 4.16 million, Statistics Canada said today in a report. Trips by Canadians to the U.S. are down 15 percent since touching a record in January 2013.

While policy makers fret about the slow pace at which manufacturers are responding to a one-fifth drop in the currency over the past two years, today’s data show the depreciation may be having an impact and helping the local economy as more Canadians shop and travel close to home.

Employment at Canadian hotels and restaurants, for example, has risen 4.9 percent over the past two years, almost four times the growth rate in national employment.

The travel trend is the most stark for same-day trips to the U.S., which fell 6 percent in January, the biggest one-month decline since 2009. Same-day trips to the U.S. are down 23 percent since touching a record in 2012.