Exchange rate and fear keep Canadians at home 

One area where Canadians have always distinguished themselves is in the travel department.

Like Aussis and Kiwis, we’re prodigious backpackers, cruise takers, beach goers and international travellers, and you can usually find someone to talk hockey with at any hostel, hotel or resort around the world.

According to a new study by Leger Marketing, however, the majority of us plan to stay a little closer to home this summer. The low dollar and fear after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 are the primary reasons.

In a telephone poll, Leger asked 1,508 Canadians about their plans for the summer. Only 1,170 said they would travel this summer, for a margin of error of +/- 2.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

When asked where they would spend their vacations, 44 per cent of respondents said they would stay in their home province, and 26 per cent said they would stay in Canada. That means 70 per cent of Canadians have chosen to stay at home.

Twelve per cent said they planned to go to the U.S., five per cent are going to Europe, seven per cent are going elsewhere, and five per cent didn’t know or refused to say.

While fewer Canadians are afraid of flying, only 28 per cent of vacationers will board a plane to reach their destination this summer.

Forty-four per cent of respondents said the low Canadian dollar is discouraging them from going to the U.S. this summer.

Quebecers will be going the least distance, with 65 per cent of respondents opting to stay at home this year. Ontario is second with 41 per cent, and Ontario third with 38 per cent.

Conversely, 50 per cent of Albertans said they would spend their vacations in another Canadian province. Forty-three per cent of respondents from Atlantic Canada and 39 per cent of the Prairie respondents also will go elsewhere in Canada for summer holidays.

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