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Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau outlines initiatives to welcome back Canadians as border restrictions ease

Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Tourism and Marketing, talks about initiatives to welcome Canadians back to the region
Pat Bradley
Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Tourism and Marketing, talks about initiatives to welcome Canadians back to the region

The Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, a division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, outlined plans today to attract Canadians to New York’s North Country as border restrictions ease Friday.

Canada will no longer require fully vaccinated travelers to provide a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country. The action comes just over two years since the international border was first closed. The North Country Chamber’s Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau is executing a “Welcome Back” marketing campaign. Chamber Vice President of Marketing and Tourism Kristy Kennedy outlined a series of steps the campaign will feature to urge Canadians to visit the region. Kennedy says it includes welcome back signage being distributed to regional hospitality and tourism partners.

“We want a unified message that really after two years we understand how important this market is to our community, what it means to our economy and that we are truly, truly excited that they’re back. They are bilingual. Everything you see will be bilingual. We are also doing a bunch of stuff on social media. We’re also going to do a lot of stuff digitally. Some are going to be welcome back. Some of them are going to highlight the incredible things to do in this area. The other thing that we have done which is really exciting is if you go to goadirondack.com, which is the area’s tourism website, there is a dedicated box right up top for tips for Canadian travelers.”

Lakeside Coffee Roasters is the Chamber’s small business of the year. Owner Norm Lague said the reopened border is an opportunity to welcome both old and new customers to his businesses.

“We’re very excited to welcome our friends back from the North. Pre-pandemic we had established very, very great relationships with folks that were staying at the marina. They were also staying at local campgrounds and even just travelers that would stop in. So it was quite a hit when we missed out on them coming south the last couple summers. Not only are we looking forward to seeing our friends that we’ve missed for all these years, we’re looking forward to the new folks that are going to be coming down.”

Chamber President Garry Douglas hopes all local businesses welcome Canadians back to the region.

“Everybody reinforce the message, everybody, over the next several months to welcome those that come down and to encourage those to come down. It’s not going to be suddenly a gate opening and we’re going to see a million Canadians coming in you know this weekend. It’ll start slowly. We’re early in the season. This wouldn’t be the strong part of the year normally anyways. But on the weekends we ought to start seeing folks coming down to visit that restaurant or go to the mall or check out that campsite to get it ready for this summer or check out their boats. We want to make them really feel like they’ve been missed because they have been.”

Canada implemented ArriveCAN during the pandemic. Travelers must digitally file mandatory vaccination and travel information prior to entering the country. It is now a permanent requirement to cross the border.

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