Loved ones and local businesses ecstatic as U.S. opens its borders for tourism

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Moving to a new country in the middle of a pandemic was a decision Charlie Marshall had to make for his education, but it came with its challenges. 

“It’s been strange, but it’s getting back to normal,” Marshall said.

Marshall’s student visa has allowed him to go in and out of Canada a few times since he’s been studying at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. His family on the other hand has had to jump through hoops to come to Syracuse. Between plane rides, COVID-19 tests, and quarantine it hasn’t been easy for his parents to come and visit.

“It’s a lot easier, especially if you’re just coming to Buffalo or Syracuse something like that just drive over rather than get on a plane for a couple hours and drive around from there,” Marshall said.

Now fully vaccinated non-US citizens can drive in and out of the country for non-essential travel after the United States opened its borders on Monday, November 8 to Canada, Mexico, and most countries in Europe. 

For international travelers coming to The States by air, proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test within three days of travel is still required. If traveling by land or ferry, only proof of vaccination for travelers 18 years and older is required, a convenience Marshall’s family is looking forward to taking advantage of.

“Yeah I think they’ll probably come for a basketball game,” Marshall said. “A bunch of my buddies from back home want to come up too so it will be nice to have them here and see Syracuse a bit and be in a different country for the first time in a few years for them.”

The excitement to come and visit the U.S. isn’t just felt by loved ones but by businesses as well. During a normal year at Destiny USA, one in five visitors come from Canada and the mall is ready to welcome those customers back with open arms. 

“We’ve been hearing that their Canadians are itching and they’re ready to get back on the bus and come back down and spend days and money and we’re saying come on bring it on,” Nikita Jankowski, Director of Marketing at Destiny USA said. 

And the mall isn’t waiting to dish out the deals. The Embassy Suites by Hilton at Destiny USA is offering 20% off for all Canadian residents who show proof of residency and the I Love NY welcome center is offering 10% off their popular logged items. 

“I mean we have a lot of great deals and incentives not just with the welcome center and the hotel the Embassy Suites by Hilton, we have a lot of tenants throughout the you know center offering different discounts and deals,” Jankowski said.

You can find a full list of deals and new offerings at Destiny USA here

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