Local leaders emphasize importance of Canadian border reopening


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Congressman Brian Higgins was joined Visit Buffalo Niagara Thursday to highlight the importance of safely reopen the Canadian border to support tourism-supported jobs and economic growth.

Higgins says economic loss for communities like Western New York came from the loss of commercial and cultural exchange when the border closed last March.

“Vaccines are providing great optimism and opportunity to not only get back to where we were but to grow from a re-found appreciation people have for travel. Allowing for a quick and safe reopening of the northern border must be an essential component of this country’s economic recovery strategy,” Higgins said.

Visit Buffalo Niagara officials pointed out that tourism in Erie County is more than a $1.8 billion industry, supporting thousands of jobs and generating enough sales tax to save every county household $600 in taxes.

“Canadian visitors are a cornerstone of our local hospitality economy. Their support of our hotels, restaurants, tourism attractions, and retail outlets is critical to the health and vitality of our region. We can’t wait to see them back in Buffalo,” President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara Patrick Kaler added.

The current border closing order is in place through May 21.

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