If you went to Canada this year, you’re in a shrinking minority. Visits across our northern border sunk to a 37-year low. Fortunately we have not one but two(!) factors to blame: the ongoing financial crisis and stricter U.S. passport rules. Obviously, unemployment continues its downward spiral, making it increasingly difficult for consumers to open their wallets. And, the tighter border-crossing rules have impacted the vast majority of Americans who don’t have passports.
The number of overnight trips to our northern neighbor have fallen from 16.2 million in 2002 to only 13.4 million in 2004 – based on the latest results from Statistics Canada. Of course, this statistic is totally worthless, as the true effects of the recession were not evident until the middle of 2008, and the passport rules were only enacted this year. So, I’m still trying to figure out just why the hell the Associated Press cited it. Anyway, visits were falling, and I guess the AP’s point is that the current factors just made it a lot worse.
I guess Americans forecasted both the economic decline and the passport rules, so they stopped traveling two years in advance.