COLLINS LANDING, N.Y. (WWNY) - The non-essential travel restrictions along the U.S. – Canada border have been extended through November 21.
However, the Thousand Islands Tourism Council is already trying to plan for what a reopening will look like.
“There are many Americans who own property on the Canadian border just on that side of the line. And vise versa, Canadians who own property on our side of the border. And right now a lot of those folks haven’t been able to visit their property at all. Could an exemption be made for those folks near the front of the line,” said Corey Fram of the Thousand Islands Tourism Council.
Fram said a reopen date is hard to pinpoint right now. In the meantime, the border closing hasn’t necessarily been bad news for restaurants that typically rely on tourism.
Michael Simpson, owner of The Clipper Inn in Clayton, says that he has been a beneficiary of local tourism.
“I think that’s what’s happened is people in New York state and surrounding areas see that Jefferson County has really low numbers for infection and see it as a safe place to be,” he said.
And it’s not a coincidence. The Thousand Islands Tourism Council promoted local travel more than usual this year and it paid off.
“We have a survey on the street right now to our 400 tourism businesses, asking them how the season went, that’s an annual survey. And we received about 100 responses so far and that local tourism angle keeps popping up among more and more of the businesses,” said Fram.
The Clipper Inn will be closing for the winter at the end of October for the winter months, but Simpson says that if COVID continues into 2021, he’s not worried.