Cape May, NJ uses federal funds to attract Canadian tourists

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Cape May County wants the Canadians back.

After two summers with the US-Canada border closed due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cape May County Department of Tourism has now launched a campaign to bring those international visits back to the Garden State.

The campaign dubbed “Reconnect Canada” launched in December with funding from the County Board of Commissioners through funds from the American Rescue Plan targets the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

According to the Cape May County website, Canadian travelers average just under 10% of total visitors to the county in July and August. They are also the main international travelers according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism.

He also reports that Canadians tend to stay in Cape May an average of 10 days, compared to domestic domestic visitors who stay an average of 3-5 days.

“The border reopened in November for leisure travel and the Ministry of Tourism was ready to launch a radio and digital campaign in early December to welcome them back and let them know we missed them and appreciate their loyalty. to Cape May County,” said Cape May County Commissioner Director Gerald M. Thornton.

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The border closure and COVID-19 as a whole have had a huge impact on local businesses, as part of the loss of more than 21% in tourism revenue in 2020. Cape May County lost 1.54 billion in direct tourism spending in 2020.

Although 2021 data has yet to be released, all indicators point to a healthy 2021 season.

Thornton said he’s optimistic the return of loyal Canadian visitors will help Cape May County meet its recovery goals.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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