Tourism spending in Canada jumped the most in nearly 20 years in the third quarter of last year, official data showed on Thursday, pushed up in part by a weak Canadian dollar that has cut the cost of travel.
Statistics Canada said total spending by foreign and domestic tourists grew by 2.2 percent from the second quarter to hit C$21.3 billion (US$16.1 billion), the largest percentage increase since the second quarter of 1997. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
“It is a perfect storm of a lot of great conditions,” Rob Taylor of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada said, adding that the sagging domestic currency had kept Canadians at home while attracting more foreigners.
The Canadian dollar has slumped in value on the back of a slide in oil prices. Last summer one US dollar bought around C$1.32, compared with C$1.06 two years previously.
Taylor suggested another reason for Canada’s popularity could be Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a close ally of US President Barack Obama who has traveled the world to promote Canada as a progressive nation.
“People are talking about Canada in a lot of different ways, [such as] the bromance with Obama,” Taylor said by telephone.
The Lonely Planet travel guide in October last year named Canada as the world’s top tourist destination for this year, saying one reason was Trudeau’s “wave of positivity.”
Canadian Tourism Research Institute associate director Gregory Hermus said there had been double-digit year-on-year growth from regions such as Europe and Asia last summer.
“The international markets were really gangbusters,” he said, citing moves by domestic carriers Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd to increase capacity to overseas destinations.
“The exchange rate has an impact ... one of the prime competitors is the United States, so with the strong US dollar, Canada is looking much more price competitive,” he said.
Growth could be just as impressive this year, when Canada marks the 150th anniversary of its creation. The New York Times on Tuesday put the country at the top of a list of recommended destinations.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth