Canada will reopen for US travelers next month. How much will the trip cost?


Canada will reopen vaccinations for US travelers next month. How much will the trip cost?

Canada opens its borders to vaccinated Americans - but how much can visitors expect to cost a trip north after more than a year of strict travel restrictions?

On Monday, the Canadian government announced that it would allow immunized US citizens and permanent residents to cross its borders from August 9. Meanwhile, the US has extended travel restrictions on its side of the wall until August 21.

Experts have to say how this shift will affect travel costs such as room rates and travel.

Hotel room rates are on the rise

Hotel room rates in Canada are not back at pre-pandemic levels, but they are getting closer.  Average daily room rates in June were (US$99.42), roughly 31% lower than prices in June 2019 but up 10% from the previous month, according to analytics firm CoStar Group.

"Once the US land borders (in Canada) reopen, we think prices will be given a boost because demand will also increase," Baxter told USA TODAY. "We anticipate ... a great deal of demand for pent-up entertainment that will come across the border."

Baxter said room rates in small towns and near highways are expected to see the most dramatic price shifts, as hotels in large urban markets still lack many business trip bookings to help fill rooms.

But Baxter said, "US travelers typically pay higher rates, and that will certainly improve overall average room rates in Canada."

Baxter advised those looking for Canadian hotel rates to book soon.

"The faster, the better," she said.

While rates are expected to grow over time, CoStar expects average room rates in Canada to be lower than pre-pandemic rates through 2025.

US border: the US extends Mexico-Canada border restrictions through August 21, US side remains restricted: Couples separated by Canadian border demand the US to end travel restrictions

But how much does it cost if you would travel to Canada?

According to Kent Jordan, professor, and director of the Global Program on Logistics and Transportation at the College of Charleston, it's too early to say how easing border restrictions will affect travel prices.

"The first thing I do is, I don't think [the prices are going to go up] — at least not at first."But it's too early, and it's too unstable (to say)."

On Saturday, prices for the flight search tool Skyscanner showed that round-trip airfares from the US to Vancouver start at $251 next month. August flights to Montreal and Toronto start at $303 and $303.

Burkett Huey, the equity analyst at research firm Morningstar, said it was "safe to expect average airfares to increase from 2020 levels" but added that it was unclear how prices would compare later this year pre-pandemic rates.

The easing of Canada's restrictions will allow non-essential travelers in America to cross its borders by land, air, or sea. However, air travelers will still face COVID protocols when returning to the United States.

US visitors will still need to be tested three days before their return flight or show evidence of recovery to return to the United States.

Airlines are adding flights to Canada

Several airlines plan to increase flights to Canada as travel restrictions ease.

Air Canada, Canada's largest international airline, has announced a cross-border summer schedule with up to 220 daily flights between the US and Canada starting August 9.

Still, the airline plans to restore service to all 57 US destinations previously served "as conditions permit," according to a press release on Monday.

Air Canada's summer flight schedule includes up to 220 daily flights between the US and Canada as of August 9.

Air Canada CEO and President Mike Russo said Friday that the company is seeing a steady increase in cross-border bookings and that Canada's announcement on Monday indicates that the industry is "taking a turn."

"We expect the latest announcements of the easing of current measures by the Government of Canada will help boost our customers' interest in aviation," Russo said during a call with investors.

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