The timetable for the tour operator to reopen the land border
Canadian tour operators preparing for the summer are urging the federal government to tell them when the border can be reopened to large-scale American tourists.
The government should commit to reopening the Canadian-U.S. land border-the border has been closed to non-essential travelers for more than a year-to help an industry that has been “the worst hit and will be the last to recover.” CEO Beth Porter said.
Porter told reporters in Toronto on Tuesday: “This industry has been overwhelmed, and we can’t miss another peak summer tourist season.” He launched a campaign to require federal, provincial and territorial governments to ensure that vaccination rates are rising and COVID- 19 cases are decreasing.
“Medical experts tell us that we are winning the battle against COVID.”
Porter’s team stated that a reopening schedule is needed “before the end of the summer tourist season”, adding that some travel agencies will find it difficult or impossible to provide services to Canadians only for another year.
According to Porter, American travelers spend an average of about US$500 a day, while Canadians spend US$100 a day when traveling domestically.
The head of a tour bus and boating company in Halifax said that a little more than half of his business is related to Americans.
“The United States is our number one market,” said Dennis Campbell, CEO of Ambassatours Gray Line.
He said the company has been preparing to reopen but described the tourism industry as “actually on the verge of collapse.” He said that fully vaccinated tourists can safely reopen, and other countries are ahead of Canada in adopting this way of thinking.
The border closure was recently extended to June 21.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last month that although the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline in most parts of the country, Canada will not rush to reopen its borders for non-essential travel.
Trudeau suggested that before his government is willing to relax travel restrictions, 75% of Canadians need to be vaccinated, and daily cases across the country must continue to decline. Approximately 62% of Canadians have received a dose of the vaccine against the disease.
More news “in the coming weeks”
At a briefing held in Ottawa on Tuesday, Trudeau made it clear that a single dose of vaccine is not enough to relax border restrictions, and that the government will “issue more announcements in the coming weeks…”.
He said that any relaxation of restrictions would “focus on Canadians who are fully vaccinated” because “this is scientifically prescribed”, especially when it comes to new variants of concern.
Porter said Canada “lack of urgency” plans to reopen its borders and that the country is making slow progress in making plans.
“Many of our businesses rely on booking in advance, and No one is booking in Canada now, there is no such uncertainty,” she said.
“We need a coordinated approach to ensure tourists feel safe and encourage them to visit our country.”