Study: Nonessential travel down 97% during Canada border closure

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:56 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A new study takes a closer look at the impact of the northern border closure.

While vaccinated United States citizens can cross over to visit Canada, the U.S. border still remains closed to Canadians who want to come here for nonessential visits.

The 2021 Border Barometer study found that for our region, nonessential travel was cut by 97% over the 17-month closure. Commercial travel only declined about 7%.

St. Michael’s College Professor Jeffrey Ayers, who conducted the study in our region, says the biggest impacts were to relationships, families and border communities.

“There have been some really tight relationships that have been maintained on both sides of the border. A large percentage of Vermonters have a heritage, have a French history, a Quebecoise history. And there are both strong family ties, there are strong economic ties on both sides of the border,” Ayers said.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full interview with Jeffrey Ayers

The study also looked at the impact on tourism.

About 85% of Vermont’s international visitors are from Canada and they bring about $150 million in spending a year into the Vermont economy.

For instance, at the Jay Peak ski resort, sales of passes were down 30% during the study period.

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