QUEBEC CITY, Feb. 17, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - While many last fall were predicting a significant increase in the price of "all-inclusive" vacations, mainly because of Cuba's opening to American tourists, a recent analysis by the Conference Board of Canada confirms that the worst scenario has in fact been avoided! According to this analysis, the cost of such holidays has risen by only 3.2% in the early months of 2017 compared with the same period a year ago. But CAA-Quebec Travel offers even more reassuring news: it has observed instead a 6.6% drop in the average cost of the packages it has sold! Explanations:
Understanding this slight increase
Growing demand for Caribbean and Mexican holidays by Europeans and South Americans is among the many reasons for this average 3.2% increase estimated by the Conference Board, a trend observed for a few years already.
"New markets are now competing with North American markets," says Philippe Blain, Vice President, Travel Services, CAA-Quebec. He continues: "Like us, these travellers want to benefit from Caribbean and Mexican beaches, which boosts demand and in turn pushes prices higher. It's simply the supply-and-demand story. But obviously, the weakness of the Canadian dollar is also continuing to play a role in impacting prices negotiated in U.S. currency by the tour operators."
Mr. Blain also explains that this estimated increase is limited in large part by the growth in the number of places offered to travellers by Canadian tour operators. "Price increases are a normal occurrence for all products and services, and travel is no exception," he points out. "You also need to understand that the average cost of all-inclusives during a given period will change according to a wide range of variables, including the number of seats available, the destination and the category of the chosen resort. These are determining factors in establishing a picture of the market, and they will vary from one year to the next."
Other interesting facts
Although a slight general price increase was observed across Canada, it was an entirely different story for all-inclusive holidays to the Dominican Republic, where, according to the Conference Board, prices dropped by around 0.3%. CAA-Quebec Travel can confirm this trend, although its figures put the price decline at 2%.
The average cost of packages
While there are a great many online offers, it's not always easy for the consumer to figure out the average cost of a vacation destination. The Conference Board of Canada* provides valuable information in this respect:
- Average cost of an all-inclusive package in Mexico and the Caribbean: $2,026.
- Cuba is the cheapest destination (1,309).
- Jamaica is most expensive destination ($2,682).
- Average price for Mexico: $2,223.
While it is harder to hunt down last-minute bargains these days, trips at a great price can still be found. And expert travel counsellors are still significant assets, even when planning an "all-inclusive" holiday. As well as having access to all available packages, they have the expertise and awareness to do the research. They also have access to information that non-experts don't, in addition to being able to help identify a traveller's particular needs, then recommend destinations and resorts accordingly.
"Remember that no matter the price, a trip will always be too expensive if it doesn't meet your expectations," Mr. Blain observes.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization, provides all of its members with peace of mind by offering them high-quality automotive, travel, residential and insurance benefits, products and services. CAA-Quebec Travel has 14 Travel Centres Voyages throughout Quebec.
*This analysis is based on prices (including taxes) gathered during the first week of December 2016 for seven-day holiday packages in double occupancy, leaving Toronto on the second Saturday of the month for the period mid-January to mid-April 2017. The information was taken from the websites of Canada's main tour operators. Prices at 2,170 establishments were checked during this analysis.
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