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Thousand Islands tourism bouncing back amid increase in border crossings

The Thousand Islands Bridge
Wikimedia Commons
Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge connecting Canada to the U.S. in Windsor, Ontario, in May.

Corey Fram, the Director of Tourism at the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council, said numbers are promising at the northern crossings.

"We've seen a significant increase in traffic across the border, both Canadians coming south and Americans going north,” said Fram. “It's doubled and more so in many places, compared to spring of 2021."

Fram said numbers from May show traffic across the Thousand Islands Bridge is up almost 100 percent. The Seaway International Bridge is up 35 percent, and the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge is seeing a surge of 254 percent. But those numbers are still about 20 percent down from pre-pandemic levels.

While Canada dropped its COVID-19 testing requirement for fully-vaccinated travelers April 1, the country is now requiring anyone entering to download theArriveCAN app to show proof of vaccination.

Elizabeth Carey from AAA said despite that, travel agents are seeing a lot of interest in trips across the border.

"I crossed recently, and as long as you have app, and you have that taken care of in advance, it really is pretty simple to get across," said Carey.

And Fram believes the summer forecast looks good for Thousand Islands businesses and tourist attractions.

"I think we're still seeing a very strong season on the leisure side,” said Fram. “And for the rest of the travel economy, things likes meetings, conventions, weddings, those kind of gatherings, those are coming up very swiftly."

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.