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Canadian Visits Forecast Released

Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) of Western Washington University has published a brief explaining its forecast for Canadian cross-border visits to the US for shopping and travel. 

southbound traffic at cascade gateway crossingsIn the face of a strengthening US dollar and weakening Canadian dollar, the number of southbound border crossings into Whatcom County have dwindled to a level not seen since 2011.

Given the geographic limitations for vacation travel to the north, west and east for BC residents, traveling south is a popular option. So it should not come as a surprise that just as many Canadians are crossing the border for travel/vacation purposes as shopping. The combination of these two groups accounts for 60% of all Canadian southbound border crossings.

This means at least 60% of Canadian border crossings are greatly influenced by economics (ie dollar valuations), the BPRI expects the full impact of the drop of the Canadian dollar has yet to be realized. In addition, the brief states, “sudden policy changes (such as the removal of Canadian dairy price supports, a possibility under the [proposed] Trans-Pacific Partnership) could dampen Canadians’ shopping-related travel.”

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In short, there is no reason to expect any increase in Canadians coming across the border to shop or for vacation/travel anytime soon. A continued decrease is more likely.

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