Recent Survey Shows Importance of Canadian Visitors to Northern New York Economy

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North Country Chamber of Commerce Study Reveals Canadian Visitation is Strong

The North Country Chamber of Commerce and its Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau recently conducted a survey of more than 250 tourism-related businesses, verifying the importance of Canadian visitors to area businesses and the North Country economy.

"We certainly know that Canadian spending in our area is of great importance and has been growing," stated Chamber President Garry Douglas, "but we decided it was time to take a snapshot of just how important it is and what the trends and opportunities may be, especially as we refine our Montreal marketing plans for this summer."

The Chamber surveyed more than 250 tourism-related businesses, including lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, attractions, marinas, retailers and agritourism operations, with the results revealing the following:

  •     A strong majority depends on Canadians for 20% or more of their business. Almost a fifth depends on Canadians for more than 50% of their business.
  •     88% rate the importance of Canadians on their businesses as Important or Very Important. 48% say Very Important.
  •     88% reported an increase in Canadian business in 2010 compared to 2009. A majority (64%) reported a 5-15% increase, while 12% reported an increase greater than 25%.

"These numbers confirm that we are enjoying the benefits of both a strong Canadian economy and the fact that the two currencies are remaining near par," said Douglas. "And they reinforce our belief that the opportunity is ripe to attract even more visitors and spending from north of the border this year, especially over the summer."

“We expect another strong summer in respect to Canadian visitors,” stated Michele Powers, Vice President of Marketing for the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Powers, who also serves as the director of the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, added, “We are in the process of creating an extensive marketing program targeting the Montreal market throughout the summer which will include a co-op advertising flight on Montreal television with member businesses. So when you combine the strength of the Canadian dollar, New York state’s recent 4% tax exemption for all clothing purchases under $55, and an aggressive marketing campaign, the outlook is good.”

"Just as important as getting them here is making their visit as enjoyable and welcoming as possible," commented Douglas. "All of our area hospitality and retail businesses need to step up their efforts to make our Quebec friends comfortable, including more bi-lingual menus and signs, more French skills among customer service staff, and zero tolerance for any impatience, prejudice or poor attitudes toward our neighbors. Walt Disney said that people spend money where and when they feel good. Let's make them feel very good about spending money, supporting jobs and generating sales tax revenue here in the North Country."

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Michele Powers
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