Whether you want to move there or just visit, the land north of the border is enjoying a popularity boom.
For some United States residents, Canada is an increasingly attractive vacation destination and, possibly, a country to live in.
Do Americans really want to move to Canada? It certainly looks that way, at least since the U.S. presidential election.
Canada’s immigration site crashed on election night, and statistics from the airfare predictor app Hopper show that between midnight and 1 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 9, the time period when the news media reported that President-elect Donald Trump had taken the lead in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, there was a 210 percent spike in searches for one-way flights to Canada among eight U.S. and Canadian airlines, including Delta, American Airlines and Porter Airlines.
And, according to data from the travel search engine Kayak, there was a 13 percent increase in flight searches from the United States to Canada for three days after the election, compared with the same period the previous week.
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Whether the immediate postelection effect of Canada’s appeal as a permanent home is here to stay remains to be seen.
But heading there for a getaway is more of an established trend: From January through August of this year, the number of visitors from the United States to Canada increased 9.4 percent, to 9.8 million people, compared with the same period last year, according to Destination Canada, Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Also, Kayak saw a 15 percent increase in flight searches from the United States to Canada between Jan. 1 and Nov. 22 this year compared with the same time frame in 2015.
The surge, said Adam Weissenberg, the head of travel, hospitality and leisure at Deloitte & Touche, is likely caused by the strength of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar. “Canada is a bargain for Americans to visit right now and is the best deal it has been in a while,” he said.
Numbers from the New York City-based economic research firm Oxford Economics show that this value proposition is true: The U.S. dollar appreciated around 25 percent against the Canadian dollar from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016 (the latest exchange rate is around 1 U.S. dollar to around 1.35 Canadian dollars).
Here are some trip ideas that may inspire you to vacation in Canada:
• Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta is offering the Jasper Family Ski Experience over the winter. Included are accommodations, transportation to and from the ski hill and ski lift tickets for two adults and one child. Prices from 469 Canadian dollars a night for a two-night minimum.
• The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan wine region, has a “Ski Canada’s Champagne Powder” package. Included are accommodations for two nights, two ski passes for Big White Ski Resort, located an hour away, return transportation from the ski resort and a wine tasting for two. Available until March 31. Prices from 515 Canadian dollars.
• The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal has a Colder the Better package. Guests who book a suite in the downtown hotel save 1 percent off their room rate for every degree the temperature falls below zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit). If the temperature is minus 15 Celsius, for example, the discount is 15 percent (the city’s late winter and early spring temperatures usually hover at around minus 10 Celsius). Included are a suite with a fireplace, a welcome amenity of cookies, tea and hot chocolate, breakfast, parking and a late checkout. Prices from 800 Canadian dollars a night.
• Josh Alexander, from the travel consultancy ProTravel, has created the four-night Ontario Mini-Break that explores the region’s highlights. In Toronto, guests stay at the Shangri-La Toronto and take a private tour of the city’s haunted site; in Stratford, they go canoeing down the Avon River; in Niagara-on-the-Lake, they visit a local winery; and in Niagara Falls, they take a behind-the-scenes tour of the namesake falls. Prices from $1,500 for two. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• On a guided trip with adventure travel company Ukaliq Wilderness Adventures, explore the Tobeatic Wilderness Area in Nova Scotia renowned for its varied geography of barren landscapes, interconnected lakes and pine forests. Guests take hikes and canoe trips in the summer, snowshoe in the winter and stay overnight in a tent. A three-day trip for two people starts at 1,150 Canadian dollars and includes transportation from Halifax to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, tents, canoeing equipment and all meals and snacks.