New Canadian border regulations expected to boost Thousand Islands tourism
Starting April 1, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to show a negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada.
Corey Fram from the Thousand Islands International Tourism Council said the change is borderline monumental, adding areas like the Thousand Islands have been hit especially hard by the restrictions.
“We chiefly rely on a land-border crossing, and the testing requirement made it very onerous and very cost-prohibitive to make a short haul trip," said Fram.
Fram said many people were drawn to the Thousand Islands destinations throughout the pandemic because they were relatively COVID-19 safe, offering outdoor recreation, open spaces, and low population density. But some places were still hit hard by the border restrictions, particularly marinas and some big-name attractions like Boldt Castle.
Fram thinks loosening those restrictions will help people who live near the border economically and socially.
“Those of us who live in a border community, we're closely tied to our neighbors on the other side of that border,” he said. “Those are our friends. Those are our relatives. Those are our colleagues. And for a lot of us, we haven't been able to visit them now for two years."
Fram said while he's optimistic about the upcoming tourist season, he hopes the relaxed rules at the border will stay in place for the foreseeable future.