North Country sees uptick in Canadian tourist numbers

Published: Jun. 28, 2018 at 5:12 PM EDT
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New York's North Country is seeing record tourism. In just the first quarter of the year, record-breaking numbers of visitors are coming to Clinton County and they say it's all thanks to Canada.

"I think it makes us very unique," said Kristy Kennedy of the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.

The numbers are in and they are up! From January to May, there was a 6 percent increase in sales tax revenue from the same period last year. There was also a 4 percent increase in cars passing through the U.S.-Canada border.

"We're very affordable and family friendly, so you know beyond having the trails and the mountains and the water, we have the hotels and we have the restaurants and we have the other amenities that they are looking to also take advantage of," Kennedy said.

And that they do-- parking lots are constantly filled with the white and blue Quebec license plates.

"It's great, it brings in a lot of foot traffic for us, also helps increase the sales tax revenue which helps our county a lot," said Emily Moosmann of the Champlain Centre.

So what is it about this neck of the woods that Canadians are going crazy for?

"Shopping is big, the cost of goods here is so much less just due to taxes," Kennedy said.

"We offer brands that aren't offered in Canada, like Target and we're one of the closest Best Buys," Moosmann said.

"The ability to paddle and hike," Kennedy said.

"We're the closest Tesla charging station to Canada, as well," Moosmann noted.

"Our beach, the city beach, will always be kind of a gem for people to come and visit," Kennedy said.

You get the gist-- Plattsburgh has a lot to offer to our friends from the north. And the best part is the peak tourism season hasn't even arrived yet.

"What we're thinking is as long as things continue the way they're looking, this summer is going to be record-breaking," Kennedy said.

Asked if the newly imposed tariffs would impact these numbers, the Adirondack Coast said it's honestly too early to tell.