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Most want US border to stay closed, reluctant to welcome interprovincial visitors

With speculation over the future of travel and the viability of tourism as an economic driver in this country, Canadians themselves are expressing a hesitance to host visitors from south of the border – and even from other provinces.

Further, the latest study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds most Canadians say they are unwilling to travel to the United States for the near future.

Indeed, in the case that the border were opened after June 21, the vast majority who live close to the Canada-U.S. border say they would definitely not (60%) or probably not (24%) take even a day trip south this summer.

It is perhaps, then, less surprising that Canadians would prefer to see that border remain closed in the coming months, despite the fact that American visitors to Canada spent approximately $10.6 billion in this country in 2018.

Just one-in-five (19%) say the border should open when the current deadline for closure expires (June 21), while most look to either September (42%) or the end of the year (26%) for their preferred opening window.

When it comes to borders within this country, a mere one-in-five Canadians believe there should be free, unrestricted travel between provinces. The consensus among half (50%) is to stop short of total interprovincial restrictions but strongly discourage people from outside their own province from coming in, while one-in-three would restrict movement entirely to their own province.

More Key Findings:

  • Among frequent travellers (those who went to the United States five or more times last year), 38 per cent would like to see the border opened after June 21. Just 16 per cent of those who did not travel to the U.S. last year agree.
  • In Alberta, close to two-in-five residents say the period until June 21 is long enough (37%) for the border to remain sealed, the largest such proportion holding this view in the country. In BC (43%), Quebec (42%) and Atlantic Canada (45%) at least two-in-five say the border should remain closed at least until the end of the year, if not further
  • Past Conservative voters are far more likely (35%) than those who supported the Liberal Party (9%) or NDP (7%) in last October’s federal election to say that the border should opened after June 21

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