With the December 2009 U.S. Resident crossing numbers in, its fair to say that, while the overall number of U.S. residents visiting the city were down slightly over 2008, U.S. traffic performed far better than the national average in a year that saw every possible issue affecting travel.
For the year ending December 31, 92,268 U.S. residents crossed into Canada at Pigeon River, a decrease of only 1.6% over the previous year. Considering that nationally, U.S. travel to Canada was down 9.2%, we held our own in a tough year. The performance of U.S. travel was largely based on touring markets seeking the Lake Superior Circle tour experience.
As for December, while U.S. traffic to Canada was up 1.2%, there was a decrease at Pigeon River of 17% over 2008, (2026 visitors in 2009 versus 2445 in 2008)largely due to a combination of on par currency, bitter cold combined with a lack of snow, and the lingering effects of a slow U.S. economy.
Going into the 2010 year, we're expanding our touring promotion efforts into the U.S. mid west and southern Ontario, centered around circle tour programs, and developing new bi national partnerships to focus more effort on promoting a road and water touring route that has significant potential to grow in popularity.