Dawn Martin has spent the summer driving her Ford Four Winds RV from Hampton, Va., to Alaska and back, a journey of almost 14,000 kilometres.
Standing in the gravel parking lot of a Saskatoon RV park, she said the low Canadian dollar made her holiday considerably cheaper. “I would say (I saved) hundreds,” she said. “With gas, even though the prices look higher, once you subtract the 20%, yeah.”
Martin is one of an increasing number of American tourists opting to travel in Canada.
According to advance data published by Statistics Canada, 6,519,481 Americans visited Canada between January and May of this year, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2014. In May, 8.3% more Americans headed north than last May.
Whether they’re staying for a week or just passing through, they’re welcomed by business owners like Richard Park, who has owned and operated the Saskatoon 16 West RV Park for nine years. He estimates that in a typical six-month season, about 500 American RVs pass through, many of them bound for Alaska.
In 2015, that number has “easily” doubled, to make up about 10 per cent of his business, he said.
“We’ve seen more Americans this year compared to any other given year,” he said. “So it’s gotta be our dollar value being much cheaper.”