QUEBEC CITY – The weak Canadian dollar paired with a steep drop in oil prices has had a negative effect on the Canadian economy, but there’s at least one industry where business is doing better.
As Quebec City kicked off the annual Carnaval Friday, hotel owners have particular reason to celebrate. As of Friday, the loonie was just over 70 cents U.S. but the declining Canadian dollar is actually having a positive impact on tourism.
“A lot of Americans will come here because it’s a bargain for them,” explained Eric Bilodeau, communications director at the Office du tourisme de Quebec.
With more tourists coming from south of the border and more Canadians staying home, the hotel industry is benefiting — particularly luxury hotels.
The ice hotel expects to have over 90 per cent capacity throughout Carnaval. The same goes for Auberge Saint-Antoine, which is already sold out during Carnaval weekends.
“People don’t go for the first entrance category. They go right away to more luxurious rooms, so there is no price resistance on upscale rooms,” said Ingrid Lemm, one of the hotel directors.
Auberge Saint-Antoine was recently declared the best hotel in Canada by hotel search engine Trivago, and Lemm said any uptick in business due to the Canadian dollar is hard to quantify.
“We don’t know, is it for the dollar only that they come? Or because we are more represented in good travel agencies?” she said.
Quebec Tourism doesn’t have any concrete numbers either, but Bilodeau said there’s definitely no concern when it comes to the floundering dollar.
The Quebec City Carnaval is an opportunity to showcase Quebec at a discount to international tourists.