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.”
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.