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Saturday, July 31, 2021
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Lethbridge tourism picking up steam; “optimistic” about border reopening

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – Local tourism operators are cautiously optimistic about the Canadian border reopening to fully-vaccinated Americans.

As of August 9th, those U.S. citizens and permanent United States residents with two doses of a Health Canada-approved vaccine will be allowed to travel here for non-essential purposes again.

Jasmine Sangria with Tourism Lethbridge says it’s great news and a long time coming.

“I’d say about 40% of our visitation is from the states,” said Sangria in an interview with MyLethbridgeNow.com on Tuesday. “Even crossing, us going over there and them coming over here. I mean our hotels have been impacted by the fact the border has been closed.”

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American travellers will need to have been fully-vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel and show proof of those vaccinations.

The hope is that will bolster the local tourism industry, which has seen a bit of a rebound since Alberta reopened on July 1st.

Sangria says it’s been fairly steady since early July. “Our hotels have been full the past couple of weeks so people are coming to Lethbridge. We are seeing a resurgence of normalcy with hotels, restaurants and attractions. It’s on the up and up which is very positive for us,” says Sangria.

As for the border reopening next month, Sangria says it’s timely because Tourism Lethbridge’s summer campaign revolves around a “passport program” which allows people to pick up one of these passports, visit local attractions, and stay in local hotels. That will help those folks enter to win a $5,000 ammolite fossil.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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