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February 2006 Travel Newsletter

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  • Canadian travel news
    Overseas trips to Canada up, US trips continue to slide
    Hotel sales in 2005
    Canadian RevPAR
  • International travel news
    U.S. travel cards still costly, minister says
    Hotel industry eyes extended smoking bans
    Sleep on a chair, save a bundle
  • Internet info
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner
    Check your listings

Canadian travel news

Overseas trips to Canada up, US trips continue to slide
The total number of trips from overseas destinations increased 12.6% in November 2005 compared to 2004, as overseas residents made almost 200,000 trips to Canada.
From January to November 2005, international visitation to Canada has increased 6.5% over the same period in 2004.
All overseas regions posted increases when compared with 2004: South America (+25.1%), Europe (+6.9%), Asia (+3.3%), Oceania (+13.0%), Africa (+5.6%), and North America other than the U.S. (+5.9%). However, compared to November 2004, the total number of trips to Canada in November decreased 10.1% to two million trips. From January to November 2005, the total number of trips to Canada has declined 7.0% compared to the same period in 2004, due to significant decreases in U.S. visitation.
The total number of trips to Canada from the U.S. continued to decline in November 2005, posting a 12% year-over-year decrease, with overall automobile travel recording a 13.3% decrease, and same-day auto travel declining 15.5%.
From January to November 2005, the total number of trips to Canada from the U.S. declined 8.7% compared to the same period in 2004. On the other hand, in November 2005, total outbound travel by Canadians reached 3.2 million trips, an increase of 3.3% over November 2004, and the highest monthly level recorded in four years.

Hotel sales in 2005
In Canada there were 111 reported hotel sales with a total of 15,713 guest rooms. This represented a total transaction value of approx. $1.6 billion. The average price was $101,741 per room, which is significantly higher than the $65,000 average in 2004.
Ontario once again had the largest number of transactions at 33 hotel sales totalling approx. $684 million or $119,200 per room. B.C. followed with 28 sales totalling approx. $429.6 million or $115,000 per room. Alberta ran a close third with 26 sales worth $291.3 million or $94,488 per room. Quebec reported 15 transactions at $58,200 per room. Saskatchewan reported 5 transactions for an average guest room price of $15,145. Manitoba reported two large sales totaling $34.6 million with an average guestroom price of $71,358. Nova Scotia had two hotel sales totalling $59.5 million. The price per room was $118,800.
Not only did hotel sales volume in 2005 increase threefold from last year, but the overall price per room increased by 56% generating a stellar year for hotel sales in Canada. The recently announced takeover bid of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. could raise valuations even further.

Canadian RevPAR
Latest lodging report (week ending January 21st) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).

Province RevPAR % change
Alberta $70.80 +17.6%
British Columbia $65.54 -1.5%
Manitoba $45.84 +3.1%
New Brunswick $35.02 -13.6%
Newfoundland & Labrador $46.00 +8.3%
Nova Scotia $40.74 +6.7%
Ontario $65.40 +1.7%
Prince Edward Island $16.59 +20.0%
Quebec $61.68 +5.8%
Saskatchewan $55.96 +24.5%
Canada $63.48 +4.3%

RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
% change reflects the change from the previous week

International travel news

U.S. travel cards still costly, minister says
New identification cards for Americans travelling home from a trip to Canada will be cheaper to buy than passports, but are still an expense that could impact border traffic, Ontario's tourism minister says.
The U.S. government shelved plans that would have required Americans to carry $100 passports to re-enter the United States in favour of new People Access Security Service (PASS) cards that might cost about $50 each. But while less expensive than a passport, the PASS cards - about the size of a credit card - are still a cost Americans must pay to travel to Canadian border cities such as Vancouver, Windsor and Niagara Falls.
The added expense for Americans concerns Ontario Tourism Minister Jim Bradley since the province accounts for more than half of all Canada-U.S. border crossings each year. Bradley said he was "encouraged" that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recognized that cost is a factor for Americans in border cities who frequently enter Canada for shopping, entertainment and business. More than 21 million Americans visited Ontario in 2004, while about 18 million Ontario residents traveled south of the border.
Last October, Ontario Chamber of Commerce vice-president Stuart Johnston warned that requiring American and Canadian travellers to use passports or similar identification could cost the U.S. economy US$4 billion, and impact the Ontario economy by $570 million.
Binational Tourism Alliance President Del Rollo said that the recent announcement has resulted in more questions than answers about the issue of identification requirements for cross-border travellers and residents.
"While we are encouraged that DHS has abandoned the original plan to enforce passports for everyone crossing our borders, the "Passport Lite" they are proposing still requires marketing, consumer education, an application and delivery process and agencies to deliver the cards. Regardless of the cost, this is a new card that travellers and residents of all ages will be required to purchase. This additional cost, and the potential confusion caused by yet another form of I.D., will hamper cross-border tourism. Because the U.S. and Canada are each other's largest tourism and trading partners, it only make sense that the U.S. and Canadian Federal governments should be working collaboratively on this issue. There has been tremendous confusion caused to our customers and cross-border residents since the first announcement was made last April, and the negative impacts have already been felt by our industry and will continue with the latest announcement."
Similarly unimpressed, Michael Campbell, president of the Council of Tourism Associations of B.C. said the new cards only address travel by highway into the United States. It does not address seaports, air travel or inland lake borders. Anyone travelling into the U.S. through those ports will still be required to show a passport. In addition, the program will still likely deter Americans from taking spontaneous trips into Canada, such as cross border shopping.
"A lot of work (still) needs to be done," he said.

Hotel industry eyes extended smoking bans
First came workplaces, then bars and restaurants. Now the ban on smoking is extending to hotels, as more guests ask for rooms that are free of smoking residue.
The Westin hotel chain is going smoke-free and will add $200 to the bill of anyone who violates the policy. Westin is banning smoking indoors and pool-side at all 77 of its properties in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean - smokers must go to a designated outdoor area.
Given the impact of smoking on non-smoking guests and workers, the move to ban smoking in hotels is a logical next step, according to Cynthia Hallett, director of a non-smokers' group. 'The market demand for smoke-free rooms is skyrocketing - both in terms of patron satisfaction and employees' health,' she said.

Sleep on a chair, save a bundle
Sleeping on the super-cheap just became a wacky reality. The Japanese capsule hotels have been around a while now, but now we have Chinese bathhouses getting into the lodging business. For about $10 a night, you get a hot shower, a recliner to sleep in, breakfast and a massage.
One female marketing executive, after balking at the super-high hotel prices in Shanghai, chose the recliner route on a recent trip. "It gets noisy, but it is still a bargain," she said.

Planning a trip to Europe?
Check out Europe Holiday Homes - discover that Europe has a lot to ofer to its visitors.

Internet info

Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada ( & For Rent By Owner in Canada ( web sites for the month of January 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 130,233 hits (4,201 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,766 (315 per day)
Visitors came from 80+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.

Advice for the property owner

How much rent?
There are many factors which need to be considered when calculating how much rent to charge. Choosing the correct price means you get the most rent for your home without scaring away potential tenants by overpricing. Factors to consider when determining the correct price include:.... Click here for more.

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