Niagara Falls businesses anticipate fewer tourists with border open for vaccinated Americans

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NIAGARA FALLS N.Y. (WIVB) – Businesses in Niagara Falls are expecting to see fewer tourists now that the border is open for vaccinated Americans.

“I suspect we’re going to see a little bit of a drop off,” said Paul Faltyn who’s the VP and Director of Operations at Rainbow Air.

The company offers helicopter tours over the falls and operators say they’ve seen tourists from all over the country this summer.

“This Summer has been really good. With the borders being closed, we’ve had a lot of people who would come from either overseas or from other states who wanted to see Canada but they couldn’t because of the closure of the bridges,” Faltyn said.

He says now that vaccinated Americans can cross over, they’ll have to wait until this weekend to see if it makes a difference in sales.

“People want to go to Canada and there’s more family oriented venues on the Canadian side so that’s going to make a big difference,” he said.

Niagara Falls Council Member Ken Tompkins says he’s not anticipating too many tourists will cross the border since they have to be fully vaccinated and spend money on a PCR COVID-19 test.

“I don’t think that it’s really going to affect much being that we’re into middle, beginning of August that it’s really going to affect much this season,” Tompkins said.

If American tourists do cross over, the folks at City Cruises Canada are more than happy to welcome them.

“Everything is here for visitors to enjoy, from historical to the outdoor beautiful gardens and spaces that are surrounding the Niagara Falls area, so we’re anxious to everyone coming back and we welcome the day when that’s completely untethered,” said City Cruises Canada Chief Operating Officer Mory DiMaurizio.

The restriction on Canadian tourists traveling to the U.S. is set to expire August 21st.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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