Predicted Increase in International Travel May Impact Cape Cod

HYANNIS – An increase in international travel by Americans may continue to impact tourism on Cape Cod.

A recent AAA travel survey indicates that 25 percent of Americans plan to take an international vacation over the next year and a half.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said a strong U.S. dollar is making it cheaper for Americans to travel abroad.

“This year, according to Brand USA, our national destination marketing organization, that’s what we are doing,” Northcross said. “We are going overseas for vacation and maybe not coming to Cape Cod.”

Northcross said the strong U.S. dollar is conversely making it more expensive for international travelers to visit Cape Cod.

“Fewer of them were coming in while more of us were going out,” Northcross said. “So that is going to have an impact on Cape Cod because we enjoy a tremendous amount of international visitors here.”

AAA’s advanced booking data suggests that many travelers will head to popular European destinations, including Rome, London, Dublin and Paris, along with the warmer locations of Mexico and the Caribbean.

“More and more travelers are looking for experiential travel opportunities and seeking ways to intimately engage with their destination, whether at home or abroad,” said Cyndi Zesk, the vice president of travel for AAA Northeast.

The survey also revealed that 80 percent of Americans have taken at least one vacation outside the U.S., and two out of every five people, or roughly 77 million adults, have rented or used a personal vehicle while traveling abroad.

AAA also reports a 33 percent increase in International Driving Permits sold in the last five years, through 2018.

Additional planning and paperwork is required for travelers who plan on driving while out of the country. More than 150 countries accept IDPs and many do not recognize U.S. driver’s licenses without an accompanying IDP.

The IDP is a legal document that translates U.S. driver’s license information into 10 foreign languages.

AAA recommends that travelers heading overseas seek assistance from a travel agent, who can make recommendations and help navigate the several options available, which can save time, money and the hassle of planning alone.

The agency also recommends purchasing travel insurance to protect a vacation investment and ensure a smooth experience.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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