Elected Officials and Economic Development Agencies Welcome Canadians Back to Buffalo Offering a Warm Welcome to Friends, Colleagues and Customers as Border Reopens this November 8th
A News Release from the Office of Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Brian Higgins
Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
“Buffalo Loves Canada”
Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were joined by Patrick Kaler of Visit Buffalo Niagara, Tom Kucharski of Invest Buffalo Niagara and Mary Roberts of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House in welcoming Canadians back to Western New York as the border reopened to land travel after being closed for nearly twenty months.
The event, held in the Greatbatch Pavilion on the Martin House estate, commemorated the long-awaited resumption of bi-national travel and commerce that officials had advocated on behalf for months.
“The interconnected relationship between Western New York and our Canadian neighbors cannot be overstated,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.
“We are business colleagues, trading partners, friends and family. We own property on opposite sides of the border, share restaurants, cultural destinations, and retail stores, travel out of cross-border airports, and cheer on each other’s sports teams,” said Higgins.
“This long overdue opening represents a homecoming for people living in border communities. Both countries have suffered economically as a result of the pandemic. Returning to a robust cross-border exchange will help with recovery.”
The prolonged border closure disrupted bi-national business of all kinds, with tourism suffering a particularly devastating loss of revenue. Hotels, restaurants, retail and attractions like the Martin House were hit particularly hard when the border closed.
The speakers noted the re-opening of the border presents Western New York with the chance to show renewed appreciation to Canadian visitors and customers and bring them up to date on the exciting changes that have taken place in the region over the last couple of years.
“Erie County has a particularly close relationship with Canada and not just in the geographical sense,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
“Canadian business is a large part of our economy, and visitors from north of the border have been enjoying our sporting events, shopping malls, restaurants, and festivals for generations. Re-opening the border restores this relationship and removes the constrictions we’ve all been under for nearly two years. We welcome our Canadian friends back and wish them safe and happy travel as they return!”
“Prior to the pandemic, Canadians made hundreds of thousands of cross-border trips – both day trips and overnight stays — amounting to nearly a billion dollars of annual expenditures and related taxes flowing into New York State and Erie County coffers,” said Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara.
“That’s a very big deal for our economy. And something we should never take for granted. On behalf of thousands of Erie County hospitality industry employees, I’d like to say, welcome back, to our Canadian friends.”
“Buffalo Niagara is truly a binational economy. Since 2000, our organization has assisted over 100 Canadian companies in expanding into the U.S., said Tom Kucharski, President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara. “While we have continued to prevail through travel restrictions, we are excited to field the pent-up demand and more readily capture the job and investment opportunities of Canadian business expansions to Western New York.”
“Canadian visitors account for up to 15 per cent of our visitation each year, and we’ve missed the opportunity to open our doors to our friends from the north,” said Mary Roberts, Executive Director of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House. “Throughout the many months of border closure, we’ve received countless messages from Canadians who can’t wait to come back.”
Visit Buffalo Niagara has created a landing page on its website aimed at potential visitors from Canada that features travel tips, including guidance for travelers entering the U.S., updated information about flying out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport, duty limits and articles highlighting new developments in Buffalo and Erie County.
That page can be found here: https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/if-you-go/welcome-canadians/
To watch a video of this Welcome Back Canada event, click on the screen immediately below –
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