Grand Forks community anxiously awaiting for the return of Canadian tourists

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 11:22 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Canada will soon reopen allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter into the country starting on August 9th.

“Today’s news is a great start, " said Julie Rygg, the executive director for Visit Greater Grand Forks.

As for Canadians hoping to enter the U.S., there’s not a firm date as to when that can happen.

The Department of Homeland Security is saying that won’t happen before July 21st.

Just a short drive from Winnipeg, the city of Grand Forks usually benefits from Canadian tourists looking to get away.

“We miss our Canadian friends very much,” said Rygg.

Tourism in Grand Forks was hit hard over the last year.

Officials for visit Greater Grand Forks say Canadians play a big role in tourism in the community.

“Greater Grand Forks is a great long weekend getaway. Of course, when they are here they are shopping, they are going out to our restaurants, they’re going to our events, and they are getting the gas. It has a big impact,” said Rygg.

Local business owners are also welcoming the idea of Canadian visitors returning to the area.

The owner of Northern Roots Boutique says throughout the pandemic residents have been supporting local businesses.

She believes returning Canadian tourists can help give a much-needed boost, especially for small businesses.

“Shopping small is very important in a community of our size. Whether it’s our employees are paid through tips and they buy the clothing. It’s a roundabout where everyone supports everyone,” said Kay Derry. “When Canadians or out of towners come in it supports the chain.”

For now, Canadian tourists returning to the area will remain as wishful thinking as it is unclear exactly when the U.S. will reopen the border.

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