Travel Essay | America
Rediscovering AmericaBy Claude Stuckwisch
May 1, 2008
|Restaurants, car rental agencies, and hotels are reporting an unusually busy spring tourist season with sales up as much as twenty percent.
The weak dollar that makes it increasingly difficult for Americans to travel to Europe makes the U.S. more attractive to international tourists. Brits, Europeans, Asians, and Canadians are rediscovering America due to the strength of the euro, pound, and Canadian dollar.
The higher exchange rates make hotels, restaurants, jewelry, and clothing 30% to 50% cheaper. Tourists from Japan, Spain, Germany, Holland, France, England, Italy, are flocking to Buffalo, Detroit, Boston, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New Orleans.
Wine bars, fine-dining restaurants, car rental agencies, and four and five star hotels are reporting an unusually busy spring tourist season with sales from seven to as much as twenty percent more.
Retail businesses that specialize in luxury goods such as handmade gifts, wearable art, jewelry, beads, collectibles, antiquities, and fine art, are expecting increased sales from international travelers this spring and summer. Hotel managers in the northeast report that foreign visitors stay longer and spend more than American tourists.
At the time of this writing (05/1/08) the exchange rate for the pound was 1 pound equals $1.97, which means that a $300 dollar hotel room costs about $150. The exchange rate for the euro was 1 euro equals $1.57, which means that a $150 restaurant bill costs about $95.
While Americans are temporarily cutting back on holiday travel expenses both here at home and in overseas travel, it is expected that, in the interval, international tourists will be making up for it when they discover American quality and lower prices than they have at home.