Service industry ready for influx of tourists after cross-border travel ban was lifted

Local News

The federal government announced plans to reopen America’s borders notwithstanding the reason for your trip — as long as you are vaccinated.

This comes as a sign of relief for businesses that were greatly affected when the borders were closed during the pandemic.

It is also coming after months of pressure on the federal government to do so.

Interim Director of the Downtown Business and Professionals Association, Josh Wolsky welcomed the announcement.

“Canadian visitors have long been important to downtown and the economic vitality in Minot. We appreciate their visits and we’re excited to them allowed back across the border,” he said.

Tourism took a hit over the 19-month partial closure of the border. State data shows about 672,000 trips were lost as a result of that.

In the second quarter of this year, less than 30,000 personal vehicles crossed the border. That’s about 10 percent of the normal influx.

Executive Director of Visit Minot, Stephanie Schoenrock says this is an important step for the retail and hospitality sectors.

“It is a big deal. This morning has been busy, been communicating with all of them and we already got our communications plan in place and so now we’re executing it to make sure Canadians are feeling very welcomed and are ready to take advantage of what we have to offer in Minot,” she said.

Both Schoenrock and Wolsky say the travel freeze took a toll on local businesses that benefitted from Canadian visitors.

They are looking forward to a jolt in the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry in Minot.

State officials also welcomed the news and urged the administration to open the borders as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the federal government is yet to announce a specific date in November the restrictions will be removed.

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