The Canadian Border Services Agency has released its April 2009 border crossing statistics from Pigeon River and the numbers are encouraging.
While April is a slower month for US travel to Thunder Bay, April 2009 posted results of 2240 U.S. residents crossing into Canada south of the City compared to April 2008 that saw only 2085. This represents a modest 9% gain and that is important considering the state of the U.S. economy. Also contributing to this rise could be a favourable exchange rate of 24%, a "rush" to visit for non passport holders prior to the June 1st deadline and an increase in experience based marketing into the North shore communities, targeting the entertainment and culinary markets.
The year to date numbers to the end of April, however, are showing a modest decline of about 250 residents from 2008's 8779, with January being the hardest hit month for declines.
January 1883 1503
February 1924 1897
March 2932 2887
April 2085 2240
All things considered given the state of the U.S. economy, these numbers are comforting in that it shows that people are, overall, still travelling. The real state of the 2009 season will be revealed once the June and July travel numbers are released sometime mid fall.