It was a good news week for Canada’s travel industry as the United States announced that it would be reopening its borders – both Canada and Mexico – to fully vaccinated travellers.
And the Biden Administration and the U.S. CDC also indicated that they would recognize vaccines approved by the U.S. and those approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Over the weekend, news that the U.S. would also accept travellers who have been inoculated with a mix of those approved vaccines, removing a great deal of concern and providing a clear path forward for Canadian travellers.
Closed since March 2020, the U.S. will reopen its borders on Nov. 8 to travellers who are arriving by air, land or aboard passenger ferries.
For those arriving by air, they’ll need to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel prior to boarding their flight. The same policy applies for air travellers coming to Canada from the U.S.
And for those taking non-essential trips across the land border, they’ll be required to show proof of vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent, however, there will be no requirement for a negative COVID-19 test.
Not surprisingly, the Canadian travel and tourism industry – not to mention the global travel industry – were more than pleased with the news.
Back to Business, GBTA Responds
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) CEO, Suzanne Neufang observed: “I am delighted that the U.S. will reopen its borders to the many countries shut out for so many months – and in our most recent GBTA pandemic recovery poll, nearly 75% of respondents wholeheartedly agree with this particular action. International travel is critical to promoting global trade and growing worldwide understanding.”
And Neufang added: “It’s a much-needed milestone of support for the business travel sector worth $1.4 trillion to the global economy.”
The GBTA’s recent poll also found that three in four (73%) believe the new travel policy will increase international business travel to the U.S. in the next six months
Travel South USA Launches Campaign
Coinciding with the reopening of the U.S. land border, Travel South USA has launched a first-of-its-kind campaign with Expedia.ca to jump-start international travel across the region.
Beginning in October, Travel the Authentic U.S. South is designed to elevate the unique experiences of the South, including a robust media distribution plan, customized itineraries, compelling video content, in partnership with Brand USA. There will also be a companion campaign for the travel agent community in cooperation with Hotelbeds and Bedsonline, launching this month.
Liz Bittner, president & CEO of Travel South USA, said: “We are so excited to welcome back our Canadian neighbours. We have missed our northern neighbors these past 19 months. We are eager to celebrate the land border reopening and the expanded flight schedules into the region.”
These turnkey, media-focused strategies are designed to inspire awareness and consideration of the Southern region. Highlighting southern destinations, Travel the Authentic U.S. South offers Canadians access to 3-day weekend itineraries, family vacation inspiration, and relaxing warm beach holidays. Known for its proximity and distinctive charm, the South Is full of diverse experiences In charming cities, small towns, mountain retreats, and outdoor adventures.
Said Bittner: “Safe and responsible travel remains our number one priority. The wide-open, authentic and unique destinations across the South have special offers at Expedia.ca and Bedsoline for Canadians to stay while they hike, bike, eat, drink, shop, listen to music, visit museums, immerse in history, white-water raft, ATV, or just relax in a place known for hospitality. Y’all are welcome, and we will be glad to see you.”
Great News Says WTTC
Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said of the announcement: “It is great news that the U.S. will reopen its borders to fully-vaccinated travellers from the UK and EU from Nov 8. It has been a long time coming, but Travel & Tourism businesses on both sides of the Atlantic will be breathing a sigh of relief.”
Simpson added: “Visitors from the EU and the UK contributed more than $46 billion to the U.S economy in 2019, showing just how critical this move will be to the U.S recovery.”
And the WTTC’s president and CEO concluded: “WTTC believe governments should axe red lists completely, and instead base the risk on individuals rather than entire countries.”