Saturday, September 22, 2007

Loonie Greenback Parity--kids' stuff

For the first time in 30 years, the Canadian and U.S. dollars are at par. This is good news for Michigan tourism, but not such good news for Michigan kids hoping to stretch an allowance dollar on Canadian souvenirs.

Many of us in Michigan remember family vacations where the exchange rate seemed a magical thing. We could buy many strange and wonderful souvenirs over the border with our powerful American allowance money. Remember rubber band guns and enormously fat pencils and mini banners and deerskin pouches? You might as well just go to a tourist trap up north for those goodies at this point. While Michigan kids' allowances will buy less over the border, Canadian children can finally experience the upside of fluctuating exchange rates.

More significantly, Michigan can expect an influx of Canadians flexing their greater loonie power. That's a good thing for tourism. According to George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, "Visitors spend about $17.5 billion annually, which employs 193,000 people statewide and contributes $971 million in state taxes.”