Canadian Tourism Back Up | VideoJenny Castro | 8/31/2012
From last year, Canadian tourism in Minot has been up 20 to 25 percent in the first seven months of 2012. After record numbers in 2010, last year saw a significant drop.
"We`ve seen some visitors that chose to maybe choose other destinations, ensuring that Minot had an opportunity to recover last year and so some of our Canadian traffic definitely was down, said Wendy Howe, executive director of the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau.
One of the factors for the increase has been hotel availability. Canadians are saying that there`s more options now, but they`ve been a little pricier.
"We`re pretty constant with our Canadians, a lot of them come back regularly. They enjoy it here, they feel comfortable here. Some guests we even know by first name basis because they`re here all the time, said Brittney Dittus, marketing director at the Sleep Inn and Suites.
"It`s a pleasant surprise, all the new hotels that they`ve been building that have been going up, said Ursula Roecsh, an Canadian visitor.
"Prices have gone up so much, we used to stay at say Holiday Inn for say ninety bucks a night with the pool and everything now it`s 180, said Canadian visitor, Margo Klinger.
While the hotel stay maybe more expensive, it`s still cheaper for Canadians to shop here and that`s what many are doing over Labor Day.
"We definitely will see Canadians all over Minot this weekend and they are aware of our holidays as well and so they know that there`s going to be sales at certain stores and so they plan to come down during those holidays, said Howe.
"Mostly shop for clothes, it always fits, compared to home, you pay some time almost double, said Klinger.
"The girl I was talking to said that I helped her out a lot an everybody here in this mall really helped her out a lot and it was just cheaper, said Holly Hanna, a retail employee at the mall.
Having Canadians here may bring more traffic and longer lines over holiday weekends, but they have a tremendous economic impact on the community and it`s been good news having them back in Minot.
Canadians will also be able to take more home with them now that their duty fees changed in June. For a 48 hour stay in the states they`re now allowed to take back $800 worth of purchases tax free, when before it was only $400.