Living in Victoria, there's always heaps of media coverage when a new study shows toursim is dropping. It's one of our biggest industries; tourism brought in $5 billion in 2001, second only to forestry at $8.2 billion. [For more stats see Value of Tourism (pdf).] However, since 2001, the numbers of American tourists -- about 1 in 4 visitors were American in 2001 -- have been dropping slowly but steadily.
The most recent complaint? We're boring. Canada known only for moose, mountains, Mounties, tourism officials complain [MSN]. Apparently, US travellers are looking for "sun and fun" -- maybe because they rhyme -- in markets such as Mexico.
Fingers are also pointing at a stronger Canadian dollar and of course border-crossing has become more difficult, though I'd argue that's America's own doing.
Then there's this tidbit: according to Michele McKenzie, president of the Canadian Tourism Commission, "It is becoming apparent that many neighbouring Americans are not sure Canadians still like them."
Really? So we're not only boring, but apparently we slung some mud their way? Hmm.
There will be a full report out at the end of the month; I may post a follow-up.
TAGS: tourism, Canada-US relations