Hotel deals abound in Alberta...Asia expansion...British pound falls..Aussie sale
The latest report from Hotwire.com says hotel prices in Calgary are down about 10 per cent from a year ago, with a 3-star hotel in town currently available for $96. The company says prices in Edmonton this month are about 7 per cent lower than a year ago, with a four-star hotel available for $97.
Low corporate travel appears to be to blame for the Calgary price drop, officials say.
Prices in London, Ontario were down just 2 per cent, while those in Ottawa and Montreal dropped just 1 per cent from March, 2009.
Officials say they expect good post-Olympics deals in Vancouver, and in Victoria.
Having just returned from Shanghai and Hong Kong and seen the crazy real estate markets, especially in Shanghai, it doesn't surprise me to see that major U.S. chains are expanding in a major way into Asia.
Starwood is said to be opening up to 40 new hotels in the Asia Pacific region this year, while Marriott is going big in China and India.
There's a new Ritz-Carlton underway in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The newly renovated Fairmont Peace Tower also is slated to open soon over on the Bund, where they've also just finished the remarkable Peninsula hotel. Personally, I'd much rather stay over on the Bund side of town.
Pudong has some great hotels; I quite liked the Grand Hyatt. But it's a bit remote from the action for my tastes. The Bund is a far better bet if you want to be able to walk about and see the sights of a truly fascinating city.
Time to check your currency tables in Star business, folks. A quick look earlier today showed the British Pound was down at $1.54 Canadian. And that's remarkable when you consider it was well over $2 Canadian a couple years ago.
It makes for a remarkably cheaper holiday than it was only a short time back.
The dollar also is up against the Euro, so it makes for attractive spring travel options.
DOWN UNDER ON SALE
Tourism Australia is extending a 12-night getaway deal to Canadians, but it's only for a short time. The package features Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart. In addition to this special 12-night offer, Tourism Australia continues to provide its selection of popular niche vacation packages.
This package includes roundtrip airfare with Qantas, three free domestic flights in Australia and three nights in each city, with the fourth night free. Packages start at $1899, depending on your city of departure. Prices reflect per person rates in Canadian dollars and exclude taxes and fees.
The prices are valid for bookings by March 31, 2010.
For more deals, details and itinerary suggestions, visit www.australia.com/today. To book, call a Goway expert at 1 877 310 7407.
It's hard to know what to make of the situation in Mexico. While things seem to get worse every day in some border towns, the fact is most Canadians don't go to Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez but to spots near Cancun or Puerto Vallarta that don't appear to have major drug or crime problems.
It's best to exercise caution, of course, but for now the incidents, violent as they've been, don't appear to be affecting the usual leisure travel spots.