New York always had a strong relationship with its neighbor to the north, with just a thin border separating Canadian travelers from so many tourist attractions — the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands, spots for skiing in the colder months and hiking in the warmer ones, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions prevented travel across the border into New York. On this episode of In Focus, JoDee Kenney gets some perspective from those on the New York side of the border, about how things have changed since border restrictions were loosened and what effect the current restrictions are still having.
Plattsburgh, sometimes described as “Montreal’s U.S. suburb,” has long been an attraction for Canadian travelers, with many coming over to enjoy Lake Champlain and the nearby Adirondack Park. Mayor Christopher Rosenquest says that when the border closed for the pandemic, the loss of international travel had a huge economic impact on the city — from which it has yet to fully recover. Rosenquest says the closure didn’t just affect the exchange of commerce, but the cultural exchange between the North Country and its Canadian neighbors as well. The mayor of Plattsburgh says there has been an influx of travelers from across the US, but international travel is still well below pre-pandemic levels — even with the border having been open for close to a year.
You can watch the full interview with Plattsburgh Mayor Christopher Rosenquest in the video player above. And be sure to tune in for a look inside the biggest issues impacting Upstate New York, on In Focus with JoDee Kenney — every Sunday on Spectrum News 1.