US-Canada Border Crossings Plummet

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 5:42 AM CDT
A driver at a border crossing from Canada into the United States in Blaine, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – Fewer Americans visited Canada last month than at any time since record-keeping began in 1972, as new passport controls and a weak US dollar kept tourists away. One-day car trips dropped 26% from May to June, and US tourists in Canada fell to half their number 5 years ago. The dramatic drop has dealt a blow to the tourism industry on both sides of the border, reports the Globe and Mail. Only 30% of Americans have a passport, which is now required for driving north of the border.

Canadian business owners say American cars are now much less prevalent on their side of the border. One motel owner in British Columbia used to do 60% of her business with Americans, but that figure has dropped to 10% this summer. "It used to be normal to see American license plates," she said. "But now I see one and I think, 'Oh look, it's an American'"