Canada column for Sunday, Jan. 26/14
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Canada’s slumping dollar – dipping to a six-year low of 89.5 U.S. cents – is making it more expensive to travel to warm-weather destinations.
Several travel tour operators are immediately implementing a “currency surcharge” on vacation packages.
Air Canada Vacations and Transat A.T. will add a $35 fee Monday to offset the decline of the dollar to destinations including Florida, California, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Sunwing’s similar surcharge takes effect Thursday on flights and package vacations.
The intent of the surcharge is to recover some of the added costs for fuel and hotels charged in U.S. dollars.
Transat chief executive Jean-Marc Eustache said he didn’t expect the small amount would deter travel to sunny destinations.
Sunwing passengers who booked before the surcharge begins are not affected while WestJet Vacations said it wasn’t planning to add a surcharge at all.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said it’s not all bad news as a weaker currency spurs economic growth by boosting exports to help eliminate the government’s spending deficit.