Photo by Oli Oviyan
Tourism Calgary lowers 2011 expectations on the number of out-of-town visitors due to climbing gasoline prices and a strong dollar. The dollar is holding steady around $1.03 US and the average pump price has seen a 4 per cent increase compared to the previous week.
Randy Williams, CEO of Tourism Calgary, explained: "The combination of the dollar being high, plus higher gas prices, will certainly have a drag on our tourism economy across the country. Our Canadian tourism market will be a little more expensive in foreign markets because of the dollar and with the increased fuel costs. It’ll take disposable income out of households of Canadians and slow down their desire to travel long distances.”
The predictions do not project a dramatic slowdown: they indicate that the tourism growth is likely to approach 3 per cent instead of the formerly forecasted 4 per cent. People are not likely to stop travelling completely, they will just cut some of their expenses and react to the increased prices.