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New Cross Border Regulations for Entering Canada or the USA
Vacation or Staycation?
Travelling within North America has become more difficult for some people. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a US law that requires that everyone must show proof of identity and proof of citizenship when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the countries of the Caribbean by land or sea. In North American travel, this means that US and Canadian citizens, must present a valid passport or other approved secure document when entering the US or Canada. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html.
As of June 1, 2009 Canadians and US citizens will require a valid passport, a Nexus card, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card or an enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card to enter the USA or Canada by land or water. These documentations have been required for air travel since June 23, 2007.(Passport Canada)http://www.ppt.gc.ca/planification/local.aspx?lang=eng
While presenting a valid passport for land travel is a new idea to many Canadians and American citizens, many immigrants to both countries have been presenting these documentations to customs officials for as long as they can remember. This requirement therefore is not a deterrence for them to travel between countries. The new regulation for land travel will delay travel time for many citizens of both countries as they clamour to obtain a valid passport in the shortest time. This will impact cross-border travel because some people will choose not to make a trip abroad because of they may see getting a passport as a hassle.
Impact of WHTI on Canadian Tourism: According to the Industry Canada website, the WHTI will result in an estimated cumulative loss of 14.1 million inbound trips from the United States between 2005 and 2010. This represents a shortfall in Canadian tourism receipts of nearly $3.6 billion. In February 2009, overnight trips from the USA fell 7%. Plane and automobile trips fell by 8.8% and 4.5% respectively. Trips by other modes experienced the most significant drop of 19.3%. (Canadian Tourism Commission)
Impact of WHTI on US Tourism: Canadian travel to the U.S. is also expected to be significantly affected by the WHTI. The Industry Canada analysis suggests that nearly 7.4 million trips to the U.S. will not occur between 2005 and 2010 because of the WHTI. In February 2009, overall outbound trips by Canadians decreased by 4.1% over the same month last year.(Canadian Tourism Commission).
Many families are planning to take a staycation because they are struggling financially now coupled with more border regulations, this is bound to further decrease the number of people who will travel between the US and Canada for summer 2009.
According to Wikepedia a staycation (or stay-cation, or stacation) is a term for a period of time in which an individual or family stays at home and relaxes at home or takes day trips from their home to area attractions. Staycations have achieved high popularity in current hard economic times in which unemployment levels and high gas prices. Some staycation ideas include, backyard pool, visits to local parks and museums and local festivals.